Pirate Poachers of the Bay: Commercial Waterman William Catlin Jr nabbed again by Natural Resources Police for Poaching

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Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake

Pirate Poachers of the Bay: Commercial Waterman William Catlin Jr nabbed again by Natural Resources Police for Poaching

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TANGIER SOUND, MD. — Maryland Natural Resources Police report that on Nov. 27, 2015, officers on patrol in Tangier Sound saw a green-and-yellow work boat patent tonging on Halls Bar. While boarding the boat for inspection, officers learn that the operator did not have a commercial oystering license.

They also found that one bushel contained 12 percent unculled oysters and another bushel had 7 percent unculled oysters.

Harvey Thomas Bowers, 50, of Rock Hall, received two citations. The oysters were returned to the water.

Bowers is scheduled to appear in Somerset District Court on March 8. If found guilty of both charges, he faces a maximum fine of $1,000.

The Criminal Intent legally engaging in patent tonging in a permitted area on the Patuxent River. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The Criminal Intent legally engaging in patent tonging in a permitted area on the Patuxent River. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Yesterday morning, officers saw a waterman power dredging in a non-designated area of Tangier Sound.

After verifying the boat’s location with GPS, William Cloyde Catlin Jr., 44, of Upper Fairmount, received a citation. He must appear in Somerset District Court on Feb. 9.

In 2013, Catlin was fined $155 after being found guilty by the same court of possessing unculled oysters.


From April 3, 2014:


This is one Judge who didn’t get bribed with free oysters left on their back porch

ANNAPOLIS, MD. — In the first major courtroom test of the Maryland Natural Resources Police’s newest enforcement tool, two Somerset County watermen were found guilty Monday of harvesting oysters from a State sanctuary.

Officers used the Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network (MLEIN), a radar and camera system, on Nov. 25 to track a vessel moving in and out of the Somerset Sanctuary in Tangier Sound. They subsequently charged William Cloyde Catlin and Irving Lee Catlin with dredging in the protected area.
District Judge Paula Price ordered the vessel’s captain, William Catlin, 64, of Upper Fairmount, to pay a $1,000 fine ─ $550 above the preset fine ─ and the mate, Irving Catlin, 55, of Westover, to pay a $450 fine. She gave them 30 days to appeal.

“When we launched our initiative in 2010 to restore Chesapeake Bay oysters, we included a tough conservation law enforcement component to protect this invaluable resource and let Marylanders know our commitment was rock solid,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “I’m pleased the court recognizes the importance of this effort.”

After viewing images recorded by the MLEIN system, Judge Price ruled that despite the watermen’s denials to the contrary, “it is clear to this court that you were in and out of the sanctuary, oystering.”
“We are grateful to the court for accepting the use of MLEIN in our conservation law enforcement efforts and to Governor O’Malley for supporting the development of this system,” said DNR Secretary Joe Gill.

Judge Price noted that William Catlin has a history of crabbing, oystering and fishing violations dating back to 1982, and that Irving Catlin has natural resources convictions going back to 1979.
She dismissed the watermen’s claims that it is sometimes difficult to stay outside the protected area and offered a suggestion: “If you’re afraid of drifting into a sanctuary then don’t go anywhere near one.”

The incident began shortly after 8 a.m., when an officer on land watched on his laptop as the Catlins crossed the boundary of the sanctuary, which is set aside by the State for oyster replenishment. The officer moved to his patrol boat to intercept them, all the while tracking their path on MLEIN.
During four passes inside the sanctuary, the watermen’s boat motored in a circular pattern, indicative of an oyster dredging operation. The officer sped to the location as the work boat attempted to flee the sanctuary with its dredge still in the water.

NRP was able to retrieve the data from MLEIN that was used as evidence.
MLEIN, adapted from the Pentagon’s geo-fencing initiative, became fully operational last fall. Each of the units in the network is able to cover up to 20 miles on the Chesapeake Bay, reaching from the mouth of the Susquehanna River to the Virginia state line.

“This is MLEIN’s first full season on the Bay, acting as an extra set of eyes for our officers,” said Col. George F. Johnson IV, NRP superintendent. “As we refine and expand its capabilities, and officers grow more comfortable working with it, we are confident the result will be more arrests and more convictions of poachers who steal Maryland’s natural resources.”

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Office of the Attorney General and the District Court of Maryland have expanded a successful program highlighting natural resources cases to 18 of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions. Under the program, cases including fishing, hunting, boating and tree expert violations are heard on a specific day each month in the region where they occurred, and prosecuted by a designated regional State’s Attorney. NRP is working to have natural resource dockets put in place in the remaining six areas ─ Frederick, Harford, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and Washington counties, and Baltimore City ─


The following is contact information with email addresses for States Attorneys of the counties that surround the Chesapeake Bay and are often presented with citations and violations to prosecute for Maryland’s outlaw watermen. They are all elected officials and have complete and total control as to whether or not to prosecute Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake or to dump the charges.  Be sure to contact any of these officials with your views on the matter.


SCOTT D. SHELLENBERGER, Baltimore County State’s Attorney (Democrat)

Email: statesattorney@baltimorecountymd.gov

State’s Attorney, Baltimore County, since January 2, 2007.

Prosecutor, Office of State’s Attorney, Baltimore County, 1982-93 (former chief, child abuse/sexual assault division).

EDWARD DORSEY ELLIS ROLLINS III, Cecil State’s Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: cflaugher@ccgov.org

State’s Attorney, Cecil County, since January 3, 2011.

MATTHEW A. MACIARELLO, Wicomico County State’s Attorney (Republican),
e-mail: mmaciarello@wicomicocounty.org

State’s Attorney, Wicomico County, since January 3, 2011. Deputy State’s Attorney, Wicomico County, November 8, 2010, to January 3, 2011.

Scott Patterson, Talbot County States Attorney (Democrat): State’s Attorney, Talbot County, 1983-86, and since 1989. Assistant State’s Attorney, Montgomery County, 1972-75. Special Assistant to Attorney General, 1975. Assistant State’s Attorney, Anne Arundel County.

LANCE G. RICHARDSON, Queen Anne’s County State’s Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: lrichardson@qac.org

State’s Attorney, Queen Anne’s County, since January 5, 2009. Assistant Public Defender, Queen Anne’s County, 1996-2003. Deputy State’s Attorney, Queen Anne’s County

HARRIS P. MURPHY, Kent County State’s Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: hmurphy@kentgov.org, State’s Attorney, Kent County, since January 5, 2015.

Daniel Powell, Somerset County States Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: dpowell@co.somerset.md.us

State’s Attorney, Somerset County, since January 3, 2011.  Former Assistant State’s Attorney, Baltimore County. Former Assistant State’s Attorney, Dorchester County. Former Assistant State’s Attorney, Somerset County. County Administrator, Somerset County, 2007-09.

JONATHAN G. NEWELL, Caroline County State’s Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: jnewell@carolinesao.org

State’s Attorney, Caroline County, since 2003.

Assistant Public Defender, Caroline County, 1999-2001. Deputy State’s Attorney, Kent County

BEAU H. OGLESBY, Worcester County State’s Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: boglesby@co.worcester.md.us

State’s Attorney, Worcester County, since January 3, 2011.

Assistant State’s Attorney, Wicomico County, 1997-2007. Deputy State’s Attorney, Caroline County, 2009-10.

WILLIAM H. JONES Dorchester County States Attorney, (Democrat)

e-mail: wjones@docogonet.com

State’s Attorney, Dorchester County, since June 19, 2009. Assistant State’s Attorney, 2002-04. Senior Assistant State’s Attorney, 2004-07. Interim State’s Attorney, April 11, 2007 to June 19, 2009.

WES ADAMS, Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: aacsao@aacounty.org

State’s Attorney, Anne Arundel County, since January 5, 2015.  Assistant State’s Attorney, Prince George’s County, 1998-2000. Assistant State’s Attorney, Baltimore City, 2000-08. Chief, Homicide Division, State’s Attorney’s Office, Prince George’s County, 2008-15 (assistant chief, 2008). Special Assistant U.S. Attorney, 2006-07.

ANTHONY B. (TONY) COVINGTON, State’s Attorney (Democrat)

e-mail: covingtt@charlescounty.org

State’s Attorney, Charles County, since January 3, 2011. Deputy State’s Attorney, Charles County, 2008-.  Assistant State’s Attorney, Prince George’s County, 1991-93. Assistant State’s Attorney, Charles County, 1993-97.

LAURA L. MARTIN, Calvert County State’s Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: martinll@co.cal.md.us

State’s Attorney, Calvert County, since January 2007.  Assistant State’s Attorney, Prince George’s County, 1989-98 (assistant chief, homicide division, 1994-98). Deputy State’s Attorney, Calvert County, September 1998 to December 2005.

RICHARD D. FRITZ, St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: richard.fritz@co.saint-marys.md.us

State’s Attorney, St. Mary’s County, since December 1998. Former Assistant State’s Attorney and Deputy State’s Attorney, St. Mary’s County.

JOSEPH I. CASSILLY, Harford County State’s Attorney (Republican)

e-mail: statty@harfordcountymd.gov

State’s Attorney, Harford County, since January 1983. Assistant State’s Attorney, Harford County, 1977-82

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