Oyster Thief Sentenced

gavelBARNSTABLE- Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael O’Keefe announced today that Michael Bryant plead guilty and was sentenced in Barnstable Superior Court in connection with a series of oyster thefts that occurred last year.

A Barnstable Superior Court judge sentenced Bryant to two years in prison on the charge of Shell Fishing in a Contained Area, ten years probation on the charge of Shell Fishing Without a Commercial License, and a restitution to the victims in the amount of $25,000.

The charges stem from a lengthy investigation that began when several oyster grant owners in Dennis and Barnstable reported the theft of thousands of oysters.

The investigation focused on Bryant late in October when on the 25th, officers observed him to be raking oysters in a closed area in Yarmouth.

A check revealed he was not properly permitted.

Surveillance continued and on October 26, Bryant was observed driving to Joe’s Lobster Mart in Sandwich and parking in the area of the loading dock.

Upon leaving, he was stopped and ultimately gave a statement to police.

“I’m pleased with the outcome of the case and I commend the work of First Assistant District Attorney Michael Trudeau and the investigators,” said O’Keefe.

“It was important that both the thief and the buyer of these stolen oysters be held accountable.”

The case was investigated by the Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Barnstable Police Department and the Dennis Police Department.

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