July 18, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
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
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.
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.