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For Immediate Release
July 18, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

CURRAN GETS CONVICTIONS AGAINST
UNLICENSED WELL DRILLER


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that John E. Branham, 69, of Port Republic, Maryland, was convicted in the District Court of Maryland for Anne Arundel County of practicing well drilling without a license. Thursday, the Honorable Megan B. Johnson sentenced Branham to 90 days in jail, all suspended; a $500 fine; $4,960 in restitution to the victims; and three years of supervised probation.

The offense occurred in Anne Arundel County in January 2002. Branham was hired by homeowners to drill a well. When Branham failed to provide the necessary documentation for the completed well, however, the homeowners learned that he was not licensed to drill wells. The Anne Arundel County Health Department inspected the well and determined that it was not drilled in accordance with state and local regulations, and would be dangerous to use. Maryland regulates well drilling to ensure the quality of wells and well water and to protect the public health from improperly constructed wells.

The maximum penalty for well drilling without a license is three months in jail and/or a $500 fine.

This case was prosecuted by the Environment Crimes Unit of the Attorney General's Office, with the assistance of the Maryland Department of the Environment, the Maryland State Police, and the Anne Arundel County Health Department.

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