Waterman’s license revoked

Published 8:02 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A Suffolk man has had his commercial fishing license revoked after convictions on four fishing-related charges last year.

James C. Keeling will be without any license to take or catch fish, shellfish or marine organisms for a period of two years, according to a press release from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, which made the decision at its Tuesday meeting.

Keeling was convicted in Suffolk Circuit Court on May 28 of one count each of taking oysters out of season, removing oysters from a condemned area without the proper permit and failure to have an approved receptacle for sewage disposal on board an oyster-harvesting vessel.

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At the time of the 2014 offenses, he was on probation for previous fisheries violations from 2013, which included harvesting oysters between sunset and sunrise.

He also was convicted in Newport News Circuit Court on Aug. 31 of altering a fishing license.

On the Suffolk charges, Keeling entered an Alford plea, which meant he did not admit guilt but acknowledged there was enough evidence to convict him. The plea was part of an agreement that helped him avoid felony charges of forging a public record and uttering a forged public record.

He was sentenced to 90 days in jail for each count, but the sentences were suspended.