On February 21, 2019 James Robert Hurlock of Crumpton, Maryland was sentencted to 18 months of incarceration, which was suspended, and also ordered to pay a $1,500 fine as a result of an Alford Plea to Violation of the Maryland Wiretap Laws on January 4, 2019 before The Honorable Thomas Ross in the Queen Anne’s County Circuit Court.
The conviction stems from an investigation conducted by the Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney’s Office into the planting of electronic recording devices inside the Crumpton Volunteer Fire Department. Hurlock was a member of the Department at the time and surrupticiously hid a camera and listening device inside the Fire Department meeting room to secretly record an Executive Board meeting.
The Board Meeting had been set for November 14, 2017 to discuss Hurlock’s alleged violations of Fire Department rules and regulations. The Board Meeting was held as scheduled the evening of Novembe 14th. On December 2, 2017 several members of the Fire Department were communicating on the Crumpton Members Facebook page. During the posting to the Facebook page James Hurlock posted a video from his personal Facebook account that depicted the Crumpton Volunteer Fire Department meeting room and the Executive Board Meeting that was held on November 14, 2017. The posted video was viewed by several members of the department and was reported to have contained both visual and audio recording of the Executive Board Meeting. Approximately 30 minutes after the video was posted by Hurlock he removed it from the Facebook Page. Members of the Department were unable to save the video before it was removed from the Facebook page, but they did take photographs and/or screenshots of the posted video, verifying that the video was in fact posted by James Hurlock.
Fire Department surveillance footage was subsequently reviewed and Hurlock was captured on video entering the meeting room on November 17, 2017 several hours before the scheduled board meeting. Hurlock was seen planting a camera and lisenting device within the meeting room. Video surveillance then captured Hurlock entering the meeting room the following morning to remove the secretly placed camera and listening device.
A search and seizure warrant was served on Facebook for the account postings of James (Jimmy) Hurlock and the results produced two videos, containing audio, that were posted by Hurlock of the Crumpton Volunteer Fire Department Executive Board Meeting that was held on November 14, 2017.
Hurlock was subsequently questioned about the planting of the devices in the meeting room and admitted to authorities that he placed the devices in the meeting room.
Lance Richardson, State’s Attorney, prosecuted this case.