July 2, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
GETS CONVICTIONS AGAINST
UNLICENSED WELL DRILLER
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that John E. Branham,
69, of Port Republic, Maryland, was convicted in the District Court
for Charles County of practicing well drilling without a license
and misrepresenting that he is a licensed well driller. On Tuesday,
the Honorable Richard A. Cooper sentenced Branham to a total of
six months in jail, all suspended, a $500 fine, $1,425 in restitution
to the victim, and three years of probation.
was also convicted for practicing well drilling without a license
in a separate case. The court imposed a 90-day suspended sentence
and an additional $500 fine.
instant offenses occurred in Charles County between the fall of
2002 and the winter of 2003. On each occasion John Branham was hired
by home owners to repair their existing wells. After the home owners
reported the unsatisfactory results of Branham's work to the Maryland
Department of the Environment, they learned that Branham did not
have a well drilling license. Maryland licenses well drillers to
ensure the quality of their work and to protect the public health
from improperly constructed wells.
case was prosecuted by the Environment Crimes Unit of the Attorney
General's Office, with the assistance of the Maryland Department
of the Environment, and the Maryland State Police.