Pirate Poachers of Chesapeake: Maryland plays catch and release with poachers; Virginia revokes 12 commercial watermen licenses for 2 years for violations

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Virginia suspends licences of ten watermen for harvesting oysters from condemned area of James River

That was in 2015

Now in 2016, Virginia shows that it won’t tolerate what Maryland practices as a routine with the Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake – CATCH AND RELEASE!

Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake

VIRGINIA MARINE RESOURCES COMMISSION REVOKES 12 OFFENDERS’ FISHING LICENSES FOR SERIOUS VIOLATIONS

NEWPORT NEWS, VA. –  The Virginia Marine Resources Commission took the following actions on fisheries violations at their January and February 2016 meetings:

James C. Keeling, of Suffolk, Virginia.  Mr. James C. Keeling, a commercial licensee, had four convictions in two courts, Newport News Circuit Court and Suffolk Circuit Court on two separate dates in one year. He was convicted in Newport News Circuit Court on one count of giving a false statement/altering a fishing license on August 31, 2015. He also was convicted in Suffolk Circuit Court on May 28, 2015 on one count of taking oysters out of season; one count of removing oysters from a condemned area without the proper permit; and one count of failure to have an approved receptacle for sewage disposal on board an oyster harvesting vessel. At the time of the offenses, Mr. Keeling was on Commission-ordered probation for previous fisheries violations. As a result, the Commission revoked all Mr. Keeling’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organisms for a period of two years from the date of this Commission meeting, February 23, 2016 through February 22, 2018; prohibited the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. Keeling’s licenses during this revocation period and revoked Mr. Keeling’s fishing privileges within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters for a period of two years from the date of this Commission meeting, February 23, 2016 through February 22, 2018.

 

Historic Oyster Buyboat arriving in port at Cape Charles, Virginia. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Historic Oyster Buyboat arriving in port at Cape Charles, Virginia. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Jerry W. Rhea, of Poquoson, Virginia.  Mr. Rhea a commercial licensee, had four convictions in York County General District Court on September 21, 2015;  one count of operating a shellfish establishment without a permit; one count of failure to attach harvester’s tag to shellfish and two counts of failure to pay the oyster license fee. As a result, the Commission revoked all Mr. Rhea’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organisms for a period of two years from the date of this Commission meeting, February 23, 2016 through February 22, 2018;  prohibited the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. Rhea’s licenses during this revocation period and revoked Mr. Rhea’s fishing privileges within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters for a period of two years from the date of this Commission meeting, February 23, 2016 through February 22, 2018.

 

David E. Follette, of Poquoson, Virginia.  David E. Follett, who did not have any tidal fishing licenses, had three convictions in York County General District Court on September 21, 2015; one count of failure to register as a commercial waterman; one count of failure to pay the oyster license fee; and one count of no certificate of inspection. As a result, the Commission voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any tidal fishing licenses to Mr. Follett’s a period of two years from the date of this Commission meeting, February 23, 2016 through February 22, 2018, and revoked Mr. Follett’s fishing privileges within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters for a period of two years from the date of this Commission meeting, February 23, 2016 through February 22, 2018.

Workboat at rest. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Workboat at rest. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Brian Eugene West, of Achilles, Virginia. Mr. West, a commercial licensee, had one conviction in Isle of Wight Circuit Court on August 26, 2015, for taking oysters out of season. As a result, the Commission revoked all Mr. West’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organisms for a period of one year from the date of this Commission meeting, February 23, 2016, through February 22, 2017. The Commission also voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. West’s licenses during this revocation period. Finally, the Commission revoked Mr. West’s fishing privileges within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters for a period of one year from the date of this Commission meeting, February 23, 2016 through February 22, 2017.

 

At the January 26, 2016, meeting, the Commission took the following actions on fisheries violations:

 

Edward B Lowery Jr., of Tilghman, Maryland.  Mr. Lowery, a commercial licensee, was convicted in Accomack County General District Court on August 31, 2015, on seven charges; four counts of failure to report mandatory harvest reports and three counts of forging a public document. As a result, the Commission revoked all Mr. Lowery’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organism for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016, through January 25, 2018. The Commission also voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. Lowery’s licenses during this revocation period. Finally, the Commission voted to revoke Mr. Lowery’s fishing privileges, within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters, for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018.

 

Bi Chao Chen, of Norfolk, Virginia. Mr. Bi Chao Chen, a commercial licensee, had seven convictions in Chesapeake General District Court on September 08, 2015; one count of over the limit commercial speckled trout; one count of improper marking of a gill net; two counts of possession of oversized red drum; two counts of exceeding distance a gill net may be set across the waterway; and, one count of over the limit commercial red drum. As a result, the Commission revoked all Mr. Chen’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organism for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018. The Commission also voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. Chen’s licenses during this revocation period. Finally, the Commission revoked Mr. Chen’s fishing privileges, within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters, for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018.

 

Michael L. Greene of Hayes, Virginia. Mr. Greene, a commercial licensee, had two convictions in two courts, Gloucester General District Court and Gloucester Circuit Court, on two separate dates in one year. He was convicted on one count for exceeding the daily catch limit and harvest limits on June 18, 2015 and one count of obtaining money or signature by false pretense on October 5, 2015. As a result, the Commission revoked all Mr. Greene’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organism for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018. The Commission also voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. Green’s licenses during this revocation period. Finally, the Commission voted to revoke Mr. Greene’s fishing privileges, within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters, for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018.

 

Calvin W. West, of Bena, Virginia. Mr. West, a commercial licensee, had two convictions in Gloucester Circuit Court on October 5, 2015; one count of exceeding quotas and harvest limits and one count of obtaining money or signature by false pretense. As a result, the Commission revoked all Mr. West’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organism for a period of one year from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018. The Commission also voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. West’s licenses during this revocation period. Finally, the Commission voted to revoke Mr. West’s fishing privileges, within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters, for one year from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018.

Workboat at the end of day. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Workboat at the end of day. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Timmy Lee Jenkins of Hayes, Virginia. Mr. Jenkins, a commercial licensee, had three convictions in Gloucester Circuit Court on October 5, 2015 for two counts of exceeding quotas and harvest limits and one count of obtaining money or signature by false pretense. As a result, the Commission revoked all Mr. Jenkins’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organism for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016, through January 25, 2018. The Commission also voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. Jenkins’s licenses during this revocation period. Finally, the Commission revoked Mr. Jenkins’s fishing privileges, within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters, for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018.

 

Vernon L. Ward of Gloucester, Virginia.  Mr. Ward, a commercial licensee, was convicted in Isle of Wight Circuit Court on August 26, 2015, for one count of taking oysters out of season.  At the time of the offense, Mr. Ward was on Commission-ordered probation from September 22, 2015 through September 21, 2016 for possession of unculled oysters. As a result, the Commission voted to revoke all Mr. Ward’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organism for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018. The Commission also voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. Ward’s licenses during this revocation period. Finally, the Commission revoked Mr. Ward’s fishing privileges, within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters, for a period of two years from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2018.

Virginia Marine Police

Virginia Marine Police

David N. Owens of Hayes, Virginia.  Mr.  Owens, a commercial licensee, was convicted in Isle of Wight Circuit Court on August 26, 2015, for taking oysters out of season. As a result, the Commission voted to revoke all Mr. Owens’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organism for a period of one year from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2017. The Commission also voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. Owen’s licenses during this revocation period.  Finally, the Commission revoked Mr. Owens’s fishing privileges, within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters, for a period of one year from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through January 25, 2017.

 

Rocky Rhea of Hayes, Virginia. Mr. Rhea, a commercial licensee, was convicted in Isle of Wight Circuit Court on August 14, 2015, for failure to properly maintain layers of ice on oysters. As a result, the Commission revoked all of Mr. Rhea’s licenses to take or catch fish, shellfish, or marine organism for a period of six months from the date of the Commission meeting, January 26, 2016 through July 25, 2016, and placed Mr. Rhea on probation for one and one-half years, from July 27, 2016 to January 26, 2018. The Commission also voted to prohibit the issuance, reissuance, and renewal of any of Mr. Rhea’s licenses during this revocation period. Finally, the Commission revoked Mr. Rhea’s fishing privileges, within the Commonwealth’s tidal waters, during this revocation period.

TELL THE PROSECUTORS WHAT YOU THINK
ABOUT PIRATE POACHERS OF THE CHESAPEAKE

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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