For Immediate Release - August 01, 2014

Michael E. Bryant disposition

           District Attorney Michael O'Keefe announced today that Michael E. Bryant, DOB: 10/30/1976, plead guilty and was sentenced in the Barnstable Superior Court in connection with a series of oyster thefts that occurred in 2013.

            Barnstable Superior Court Judge Gary A. Nickerson sentenced Bryant to two years in the house of correction, committed, on the charge of Shell Fishing in a Contained Area, M.G.L. c130§75; Guilty, ten years probation on the charge of Shell Fishing Without a Commercial License, M.G.L. c130§80; Guilty, ten years probation on the charge of Larceny of Property Over $250 (six counts). Restitution to the victims in the approximate amount of $25,000, to be finally determined at a later hearing date, was ordered as a condition of the probation.

            These 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 26th Bryant was observed to drive to Joe’s Lobster Mart in Sandwich and park in the area of the loading dock. Upon leaving he was stopped and ultimately gave a statement to the police. 

            District Attorney O’Keefe said “I’m pleased with the outcome of the case and I commend the work of First Assistant District Attorney Trudeau and the investigators. It was important that both the thief and the buyer of these stolen oysters be held accountable. Without the hard work of law enforcement and the convictions obtained by this office against Mr. Vaudo, there would be no licensing hearing at all. With regards to Mr. Bryant, his ability to plague the oyster farming community has been curtailed significantly by this guilty finding and jail sentence today.” 

            The case was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Michael A. Trudeau and investigated by the Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Barnstable Police Department and the Dennis Police Department.