By Meghan McCorkell
A commercial fisherman faces federal charges—accused of stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in rockfish from the Chesapeake Bay. Even worse, prosecutors say he threatened witnesses in the case. He could spend up to 20 years in prison for it.
Officials say Michael Hayden went after the witnesses in that poaching case. Now he’s facing four federal counts of witness tampering.
Commercial fisherman Michael Hayden—under investigation for a rockfish poaching scheme worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But that’s not why he’s been arrested.
“In this case, the coverup may be worse than the crime for Mr. Hayden,” said Rod Rosenstein, U.S. Attorney.
Prosecutors say in the midst of a grand jury investigation, the Tilghman Island man went after three witnesses. According to a criminal complaint, he told one of them: “You rolled on me, [expletive\, a man told me so, that’s OK, I will take care of your [expletive\.”
“He threatened them, intimidated them and he told them to make false statements to federal investigators,” said Rosenstein.
Hayden is under investigation for illegally harvesting striped bass, a problem that’s plagued the Chesapeake Bay. More....