To support ASMFC’s conservation efforts, NRP officers continued stepped up enforcement in January even though the number of fish and temperatures plummeted. During the first three weeks, officers checked more than 56 recreational anglers (vs. 34 in all of January 2014), 16 watermen (vs. 25) and 59 charter fishermen (vs. 0). They also conducted inspections of eight seafood markets and distributors. Officers logged more than 70 vessel and 100 dockside foot patrol hours.
The investigation in this case started in February 2011 when the Maryland Department of Natural Resources found tens of thousands of pounds of striped bass snagged in illegal, anchored nets before the season officially reopened.
The conspirators were seen on the water in the vicinity of the illegal nets. The subsequent investigation unveiled a wider criminal enterprise to which Hayden and Lednum pleaded guilty on Aug. 1, 2014. Co-defendant Kent Conley Sadler, 31, also of Tilghman Island, previously pleaded guilty to his participation in the conspiracy and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 21, 2014. Hayden and Lednum face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
The defendants have agreed to pay restitution to the state of Maryland of between $498,293 and $929,625. The defendants have further agreed to forfeit the monetary equivalent of 80 percent of the value of the vessel primarily used during the conspiracy.
A group of watermen took the day off work Thursday to protest and block a project by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources in the Little Choptank River in Dorchester County
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 …