- Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 February 2013 11:41
- Published on Tuesday, 05 February 2013 11:33
- Hits: 2213
NORFOLK, VA – William W. Lowery IV, 44, of Tappahannock, VA, pleaded guilty today to trafficking in illegally-harvested striped bass, in violation of the Lacey Act, announced Neil H. MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Ignacia S. Moreno, Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
Among other things, the Lacey Act makes it unlawful for any person to import, export, transport, sell, receive, acquire or purchase any fish and wildlife taken, possessed, transported or sold in violation of any law or regulation of the United States, or to attempt to do so. Under the Lacey Act, it is a “sale” of fish or wildlife for any person, for money or other consideration, to offer or provide guiding, outfitting, or other services.
Lowery was indicted on Nov. 8, 2012, by a federal grand jury on one count each of violating the Lacey Act and Destruction of Evidence. Lowery faces a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a $100,000 fine, and one-year of supervised release. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 9, 2013.
As part of his plea agreement, Lowery has agreed to serve 30 days in jail, pay a $5,000 fine and $1,300 in restitution to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the illegally-harvested striped bass, and surrender his captain’s license for life. As part of his plea agreement, Lowery has also agreed that he will not engage in the charter fishing industry in any capacity during the term of his supervised release.
In a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Lowery admitted that on Jan. 15, 2010, he took a charter fishing trip into the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) to fish for striped bass, knowing that it was illegal to fish for striped bass in the EEZ. When Lowery’s boat, the Anna Lynn was approached by law enforcement, Lowery attempted to flee. When the Anna Lynn was caught, law enforcement officers observed a plastic trash barrel with 13 Striped Bass floating in the water near the Anna Lynn. The trash barrel had been thrown overboard from the Anna Lynn during the pursuit, and the striped bass contained within the trash barrel had been harvested by fishermen aboard the Anna Lynn within the EEZ.
- Last Updated on Thursday, 31 January 2013 13:09
- Published on Thursday, 31 January 2013 13:06
- Hits: 1986
Richmond – Supporters of the so-called Boneta Bill, aimed at protecting the rights of farmers, came to Capitol Square wearing pitchfork buttons with stickers that said, “Stay out of grandma’s kitchen.” They lined the wall of a conference room where the House Agriculture Subcommittee met Monday to decide whether to recommend approval of the measure.
Virginians in support of the bill and lobbyists against it came from all over the state to share their perspective. After an hour of debate, the subcommittee voted 6-1 in support of the legislation.
House Bill 1430, sponsored by Delegate L. Scott Lingamfelter, R-Woodbridge, now goes to the full House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources. The committee is scheduled to consider the proposal Wednesday [Jan. 30].
The subcommittee did not approve the original bill but instead added an amendment.
The amendment would require the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to look at the state’s existing Right to Farm Act and the issues surrounding it, and create model regulations for the entire state. The General Assembly would vote on the regulations in 2014.
The amendment will “allow the issue to be considered in a more timely manner,” Delegate Robert Orrock, R-Thornburg, said. “I don’t feel comfortable voting on a bill today that the Farm Bureau and Agribusiness Council” do not agree with.
The amendment also changes the expanded definition of agricultural operations.
Under the original wording of HB 1430, agricultural operations would include farm-to-business and farm-to-consumer sales. It also mentioned specific items such as art, literature, artifacts, furniture, food and beverages.
The amendment removed the specific listing of items.
Supporters of the original bill had a positive reaction to the subcommittee’s vote.
“Anything that’s good for the small farmer is a step in the right direction,” Martha Boneta, the bill’s namesake, said.
Trey Davis, governmental representative for the Virginia Farm Bureau, said the amendment addressed some of his group’s concerns. But he said the Farm Bureau still has some issues with the bill. He said the bureau believes the current law has it right.
“What’s been so beneficial about the Right to Farm Act is that it gives localities the ability to promote ordinances that protect agro-tourism and value-added products,” Davis said.
The Boneta Bill has been in the national spotlight since August 2012 when Fauquier County officials cited Boneta with violations for hosting seasonal events and selling handicrafts.
Boneta said the county fined her for having a children’s birthday party on her farm. She said county officials found out about the party by looking at the Facebook page for her business, Paris Barns.
Kimberley Johnson, the chief of zoning and development services for Fauquier County, said Boneta was not fined for anything. She said the violation was for selling goods not produced on her farm.
“To our understanding of what (Boneta) wanted to do, she needed to get an administrative permit,” Johnson said. “The permit would have cost $150.”
The permit would have allowed county staff to confirm that the public had safe access and sufficient parking, as well as adequate restroom facilities.
Besides the Boneta Bill, the House Agriculture Subcommittee also considered HB 1839. It sought to allow private homes and farms to make foodstuffs without being subject to regulations that apply to larger food establishments.
The subcommittee rejected the measure and recommended that it be tabled.
How They Voted
Here is how the House Agriculture Subcommittee voted Monday on HB 1430, which would expand the definition of agricultural operations in the state’s Right to Farm Act. The subcommittee recommended that the bill be approved with an amendment.
YEAS – Marshall, D.W., Orrock, Poindexter, Knight, Morefield, James – 6.
NAYS – Sickles – 1.
By Jessica Dahlberg
Capital News Service
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 18:01
- Published on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 18:01
- Hits: 1979
In an effort to reassure its neighbors about its future expansion plans, officials from Ft. A.P. Hill have held a series of meetings to talk with the public about issues affecting the area surrounding the large Army post including complaints about noise.
- Last Updated on Saturday, 26 January 2013 09:15
- Published on Friday, 25 January 2013 16:40
- Hits: 2014
RICHMOND – Sen. Creigh Deeds, D-Bath, and Sen. Emmett Hanger Jr., R-Mount Solon, are friends. And they’ll remain friends, Deeds says, even if a controversial measure Hanger voted for costs Deeds his seat in the Virginia Senate.
Deeds is the odd man out of the redistricting measure passed on Monday by Senate Republicans. The measure would combine his and Hanger’s districts and create a sixth majority-African-American Senate district.
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 17:05
- Published on Wednesday, 23 January 2013 16:57
- Hits: 2276
Remley thanks the legislators present at the rally for their work and support.
RICHMOND – Abortion rights supporters made their way to the state Capitol grounds on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision and to look to the future of women’s rights in Virginia.