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Maryland Natural Resources Police Blotter
Kent County – On Sunday, Jan. 11, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged three Rock Hall men with commercial fishing violations in the Chester River. The charges are the result of an investigation that started in mid December of 2008.
Daniel L. Dierker, 30, William M. Ashley III, 30, and Anthony Vandewal, 42, all of Rock Hall were each charged with fishing for striped bass with gill net during restricted time; unlawful use of anchored gill net; improperly marking gill nets and unattended gill nets in the Chester River near Piney Point.
The three men were allegedly fishing gill nets during the pre-dawn hours of Dec. 18 when NRP boarded their vessel. Dierker was also charged with failure to obey a lawful order of a police officer and littering upon the waters of the State after he cut a line attached to an anchor at the end of one of the nets. NRP seized as evidence one box of stretched mesh gill net, five anchors, one drag bar and 385 pounds of striped bass. A court date of March 26 has been scheduled for the individuals in Kent County District Court.
A gill net is a net used for the commercial harvest of fish. The net is maintained in a vertical position in the water with sinkers or floats. The net captures fish by means of a mesh too small to permit passage of the body of the fish or withdrawal of the head once the posterior margin of the gill covers has passed through the mesh.
A drift gill net is a net not secured to or anchored to the bottom, including a net rigged with up to 20 pounds of weight at each end. These nets must be attended by the licensee in a boat within two miles of the net while it is in waters of the Chesapeake Bay, or within one mile when the net is in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, its coastal bays and their tributaries, or a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.
An anchor gill net is a net that is stationary in the water and secured to the bottom by conventional anchors or heavy weights.
Montgomery County – On Friday, Jan. 9, the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged a Germantown man with natural resources and criminal violations. The charges are the result of an investigation that started in Sept. of 2008.
Paul K. Howell Jr., 18, of Germantown was charged with shooting on, from, or across a roadway; nighttime hunting; hunting within a safety zone; reckless endangerment; malicious destruction of property; and violating a Montgomery County weapons ordinance.
The incident started on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008 after NRP received a report of an individual finding a hunting arrow inside his Spring Meadows Drive residence. The arrow had entered the residence through the front window and landed on a sofa inside the house. Montgomery County Police took the initial report.
A court date of Feb. 26 has been scheduled for Howell in Montgomery County District Court.
Queen Anne’s County – On Thursday, Jan. 1, at 9 a.m., the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged four individuals with exceeding the daily bag limit of Canada geese on private property near Crumpton.
Christopher W. Figiel, 50, of Millington, Harry J. Langley, 65, of Preston, Brice E. Haddaway, 19 and Kyle J. Sadowski, 18, both of Chester were charged after NRP observed the men allegedly shoot eleven geese from a blind near the intersection of Routes 290 and 544.
The daily bag limit for Canada geese is two geese per person per day. During the incident, NRP seized as evidence, three Canada geese. A court date of Feb. 11 has been scheduled for the individuals in Queen Anne’s County District Court.
Worcester County – On Monday, Jan. 5 at 9:45 p.m., the Maryland Natural Resources Police charged David H. Thomas III, 45, of Ocean City with negligent operation of a vessel in the Isle of Wight Bay near 7th Street.
The incident started when NRP responded to the area for a report of a possible stranded boater. NRP observed a single white light from a vessel that had run aground on a sandbar well outside the marked navigation channel. The officer directed the spotlight from his patrol boat in the direction of the stranded vessel and observed Thomas wading in waist deep water approximately 50 yards east of his boat. He was carrying a life preserver used for a pet dog and was walking in the direction of the deep water channel off of the 4th Street bulkhead.
NRP transported Thomas to the US Coast Guard Station where he was met by Ocean City paramedics who transported him to Atlantic General Hospital for observation. A court date of Feb. 20 has been scheduled for Thomas in Worcester County District Court.
The Maryland Natural Resources Police remind boaters to have reliable methods of communications on-board their vessels, such as a working VHF Radio and/or a cellular telephone; pay close attention to the navigation aids placed along the channels, and dress appropriately for cold weather conditions.
Cold water survival studies have shown that, exhaustion and unconsciousness can occur within 15-30 minutes of exposure to water temperatures between 32.5 and 40 degrees F. The expected survival time for an individual in these conditions is 30-90 minutes. Stay out of cold water and wear your life jacket. A properly worn life jacket will help conserve body heat and save your life.
To find a complete list of boating education classes available near you go to www.dnr.state.md.us/nrp/ and click on to boating.
Worcester County – On Friday, Jan. 16, Scott Howard Shepard, 32, of Rockville was found guilty in Worcester County District Court to operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol, operating a vessel in a reckless or dangerous manner and negligent operation of a vessel.
Shepard was operating a 21-foot fiberglass ski boat at 1 a.m. on Sunday, July 6, 2008 when he struck a bridge abutment on the Route 90 Bridge. Maryland Natural Resources Police along with the Ocean City Fire Department and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the scene in heavy fog conditions. Several Ocean City fire fighters, who responded to the scene in their personal boats, rescued all ten occupants from the water.
The evidence and information developed by the Maryland Natural Resources Police during the investigation was presented to the office of Worcester County State’s Attorney Joel J. Todd and Deputy State’s Attorney Paul T. Haskell.
Shepard was sentenced to 60 days in jail; 30 days were suspended; $500 fine; 3 years supervised probation; and 40 hours of community service.
January 17, 2009
Contact: Sgt. Ken Turner
The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 280 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 is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million 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 www.dnr.maryland.gov