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For Immediate Release
June 9, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

DUNDALK BUILDER CONVICTED AND SENTENCED FOR GRADING TIDAL WETLAND


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Cyril Richard Edgar Benson, 37, of the 8100 block of Shore Road in Dundalk, Maryland, was convicted in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County of conducting unauthorized work in a private tidal wetland.

Anne Arundel County officials had told Benson, who had contracts to build houses for two adjoining property owners, that no work could be done in the tidal wetlands that covered part of the property on Arundel on the Bay Road. On October 20, 2003 Benson was present on the site located in the Oyster Harbor neighborhood. County inspectors from the Department of Inspections and Permits went to the scene after receiving a citizen complaint about work at that location and discovered that the tidal wetlands had been recently graded. While there the County inspectors saw truckloads of fill dirt being dumped on the ground and being pushed back toward the wetlands by heavy construction equipment.

The Honorable Paul A. Hackner of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County imposed a $10,000 fine, and suspended $2,500, requiring Benson to pay $7,500. Benson was placed on eighteen months of probation and ordered to complete 100 hours of community work service. The maximum penalty for filling or grading wetlands without a license is up to a $10,000 fine.

This conviction follows a joint investigation conducted by the Environmental Crimes Unit of the Office of the Attorney General and the Maryland State Police Department, with the assistance of the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Anne Arundel County Department of Inspections and Permits.

 

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