Banner: Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler
  Home | Protecting Consumers | Safeguarding Children | Seniors | Law Enforcement | Site Map Search
For Immediate Release
August 16, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357


Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that John E. Branham, 72, of Port Republic, Maryland, was sentenced by the Honorable Paul A. Hackner to six months in jail for well drilling without a license and drilling a well without a permit. Judge Hackner suspended all but 90 days of the sentence, suspended a $1000 fine, and ordered the Defendant to pay $4080 restitution to the homeowners who had hired him to drill a well. Judge Hackner also placed the Defendant on five years of supervised probation. During the period of probation the Defendant is forbidden from being at any well drilling site unless a licensed well driller is present.

The Defendant is the owner and operator of Branham Contracting, Inc. He has been in the well drilling business since 1968. From July 1981 through June 1984, the Defendant served as a member of the State Board of Well Drillers, the licensing authority for well drillers in Maryland. After the Defendant violated numerous well drilling regulations, however, his license to drill wells was suspended by the State in 1999. Moreover, after losing his license, Defendant was criminally convicted of violating well drilling laws.

This sentence came after a jury trial in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. This trial was the result of an appeal by the Defendant of his convictions after a trial by a District Court Judge in April.

The maximum penalty for subsequent offenders for practicing well drilling without a license and for well drilling without a permit is one year in jail and/or a $1,000 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.



Attorney General of Maryland 1 (888) 743-0023 toll-free / TDD: (410) 576-6372
Home | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us