News from the DNR Office of Communications

Cumberland Man Sentenced In Poaching Case

Annapolis, Md. (April 7, 2010) – Dennis Wayne Bittinger, 54 of Cumberland, pled guilty on April 6, 2010 to natural resources and criminal charges in the District Court of Maryland for Allegany County. The charges were filed by Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) in February after a three-month investigation into suspected illegal taking of wildlife and fish.

Bittinger pled guilty to one count of false entry in a public record, one count of exceeding the bag limit of whitetail deer, and one count of possession of an assault pistol. In his sentencing, he received six months of incarceration, which was suspended; three years of unsupervised probation; and a $200 fine. Bittinger also paid $2200 in restitution for illegally taken wildlife and fisheries resources, which was broken down to $300 for each of the five illegally harvested deer, $500 for the illegal possession of wild turkey and $200 for the trout. Bittinger also forfeited two pistols and the two rifles that were used to harvest the illegal wildlife.

The investigation was initiated in November 2009 when NRP received a complaint of illegal hunting activity on Brashear Hollow Road in Cumberland. A search warrant was issued for Bittinger’s residence and hunting property on December 23. Bittinger was arrested February 4, 2010 and charged with 21 natural resource and criminal violations.

   April 7, 2010

Contact: Sgt. A.A. Windemuth
410-260-8003 office | 410-713-8449 cell

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 247 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at