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Five Years After Being Charged, Beaufort County Man Convicted Of Illegal Shrimping

July 2005

More than five years after being charged, a jury in St. Helena recently found Stephen Ray Wells guilty of shrimp trawling in restricted waters near the entrance of St. Helena Sound in Beaufort County.

Following his conviction, Wells, 48, of 3024 Ratel Drive, Burton, was fined $200 and forfeited $2,722.50 from 1,605 pounds of shrimp seized the night of his arrest, Feb. 7, 2000. The case was heard in the court of Beaufort County Magistrate Joseph McDomick in St. Helena. The jury reached its verdict on June 22.

Witnesses for the state and S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officers who investigated the case include Cpl. Ginger L. Pop of Pawleys Island; Cpl. Van A. Horton of Beaufort, currently deployed with the U.S. Coast Guard in Charleston; and Cpl. Robbie Smith of Beaufort, also deployed with the U.S. Coast Guard, Joint Terrorism Task Force in Baltimore.

Jim Quinn, an attorney with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources in Columbia, represented the state in the case.



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