PIRATE POACHERS OF THE CHESAPEAKE
NRP charge repeat poacher David Messick with raid on oyster sanctuary
NANTICOKE RIVER, MD. – Another outlaw Waterman has been nabbed in the process of raiding an oyster sanctuary and doing so out of season, just in case that makes any difference to the parade of lenient Maryland District Court Judges who levy small fines and rarely any jail time to the outlaw watermen.
Stories of bushels of oyster mysteriously appearing on the kitchen doorsteps of Maryland prosecutors and Judges at Thanksgiving and Christmas…
Stories of bushels of oyster mysteriously appearing on the kitchen doorsteps of Maryland prosecutors and Judges at Thanksgiving and Christmas are cited as a possible explanation for the bizarre outcomes on many poaching cases.
Maryland Natural Resources Police officers on surveillance at the Nanticoke River Oyster Sanctuary charged a Wicomico County man with illegal harvesting and public health violations.
David Turner Messick, 32, of 3810 Jesterville Road, Bivalve, Md., received citations on June 6, 2017, for harvesting out of season, harvesting wild oysters more than 150 feet inside a sanctuary, failing to provide shade on his vessel to control the Vibrio bacteria and harvesting on the aquaculture lease of another.
When officers approached Messick, he had four bushels of oysters on board his boat that he said came from his leased area. When they checked his claim, the officers found that the lease had been terminated by the state in March for failure to pay rent. In fact, the oysters came from the sanctuary and a lease that belonged to another man.
After checking GPS coordinates with a state hydrographer, NRP Officer Gina Tyler issued citations. The oysters were returned to the water.
Messick has been scheduled for a hearing in Wicomico County District Court Aug. 1, 2017.
- Messick also was cited by Officer Tyler on May 19, 2017, with driving on a highway in Dorchester County with a suspended license.
- Messick was cited by Officer Tyler for harvesting oysters from a lease when not permitted on Feb. 20, 2017. In a plea deal with the Dorchester County States Attorney on June 28, 2017, in District Court, he was given Probation Before Judgement with no fine and no time.
- Messick was cited by NRP Officer McCauley on March 8, 2017, with operating an unregistered motor vehicle on Jesterville Road before Muddy Hole Road.
- Charged in Wicomico County District Court with assault and trespassing, Messick entered into a plea deal with the Wicomico County States Attorney. THE DEAL: The charges were put on the Stet Docket with no fine and no time.
- Cited by NRP Officer Tyler for failing to mark leased oyster beds, Messick entered a guilty plea on Dec. 6, 2016 in Wicomico County District Court and was fined $50.
- Cited by NRP Officer Wright with failing to notify the Natural Resources before dredging on Feb. 10, 2016, Messick entered into a plea deal with the Wicomico County States Attorney on April 5, 2016. THE DEAL: Guilty with a fine of $102.50 and no time.
- Cited for possession of unculled oysters and undersized oysters of 9%, Messick entered into a plea deal on March 14, 2014, with Talbot County States Attorney Scott Paterson. THE DEAL: Messick entered a guilty plea and received no fine and no time.
- Cited for possession of unculled and undersized oysters by NRP Officer Wilson on Dec. 9, 2011, Messick entered into a plea deal with the Wicomico County States Attorney. THE DEAL: Messick entered a guilty plea and was fined $50.
Two men were charged with impaired boating in separate incidents.
William Taylor Frank Jr., 33, of 7 Schoolhouse Lane, Georgetown, Del., was intercepted by officers at about 8:30 p.m. June 11, 2017, as he attempted to dock at Turner’s Creek Landing off the Sassafras River.
Frank performed poorly on the standardized field sobriety test and later recorded a blood-alcohol content of 0.13 during a Breathalyzer test administered by the Maryland State Police, well over the legal limit of 0.08.
He received two citations from NRP Officer Davis for impaired operation, one citation for reckless operation of a vessel and one citation for failing to have a sufficient number of life jackets aboard.
Frank is due to appear in Kent County District Court July 19, 2017, If found guilty of all charges, he could be fined as much as $2,500.
Just before 9 p.m. June 5, officers stopped Jeffery Steven Culver, 34, of Wilmington, Delaware, on the Sassafras River for speeding and failing to have required running lights on.
Culver had difficulty completing a field sobriety test and later registered a blood alcohol content of 0.14 during a Breathalyzer test administered by the Maryland State Police.
Culver was issued two citations for impaired operation. He also received two citations for failing to have required safety equipment and single citations for negligent operation, exceeding the 6-knot speed limit, and operating a vessel without required running lights.
He is due to appear in Cecil County District Court Aug. 11. If found guilty, he could be fined as much as $2,085.
THOSE SMALLMOUTH BASS NEED SOME EXTRA SEASONS
A Washington County man was charged with illegal fishing June 9 after an officer on patrol saw him using a dip net to catch smallmouth bass.
Kang Guan Ren, 63, of Hagerstown, received a citation for keeping three smallmouth bass out of season. He also received a written warning for using a net in a prohibited area.
Ren is scheduled to appear in Washington County District Court Aug. 22. If found guilty, he could be fined a maximum of $1,000.