Pirate Poachers of the Chesapeake: Piney Point’s Lumpkins boat caught red-handed with thousands of illegal croakers

The vessel was holding about 14,000 pounds of croaker and other species of fish, many appearing to be undersized. Seventeen NRP officers from four counties were assigned to measure the entire catch, an effort that took 12 hours. The fish were kept under refrigeration in trucks provided by the waterman.
Approximately 3,500 pounds—or 25 percent—of the catch were found to be undersized. Those fish were seized and returned to the water.

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Hunting guides couldn’t bear to be fair; sentenced to do-gooder work and fined over bait

During the hunts, Harding and Harward placed apples to bait the black bears, then led the hunters to those locations. For example, on October 25, 2009, Harding directed the undercover officers to the Raven Rock area near Friendsville, showing them where the bears would likely show up the next day. The following day, two hunters – one of them an undercover officer – taking part in a guided hunt led by Harding and Harward each killed a black bear over bait. The undercover officer shot his bear from a spot suggested by Harding, overlooking a pile of illegal bait. Harward also violated the terms of his hunting permit by remaining out of visual contact when the other hunter shot his bear. The bears killed by the hunter and the undercover officer were subsequently taken to a cooler located in the building where Harding conducted his business. Harding took photographs of the bears and the hunters, while Harward was recording the event with a video camera. Inside the cooler where the bear carcasses and skins were placed, the undercover officers saw five 25-gallon plastic garbage cans full of apple skins and cores, consistent with the apple pieces in the bait pile seen by the undercover officers.

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Pirate Poacher Update: Tilghman Island Waterman William J. Lednum Sent to Prison in Massive Rockfish Heist

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.

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Pirate Poacher Kings of the Bay Have Nothing to Fear from Feckless Maryland Officials: stripped of license Reihl kept hauling in stripers

The State of Maryland has highlighted the actions of Maryland State Police and Natural Resources police using satellite technology, helicopters and watercraft as officers issued citations for poaching, undersize catches, and raids by pirate watermen on oyster sanctuaries. Two men who were subjects of arrests and issuing of citations are featured here along with results of when they appeared in court. They are brothers, Benjamin Leonard Reihl and Adam Vincent Reihl.

Benjamin Leonard Reihl

Chestertown, Md. — Benjamin Leonard Reihl was charged by Maryland Natural Resources Police Officer Rogowski with three counts of possession of undersized oysters on March 21, 2014 and in Talbot County District Court on June 19, 2014 was found guilty and fined $277.50 plus court costs of $22.50.

As Reihl appears to find Maryland rules for watermen and motor vehicle laws inconvenient to him, this PIRATE KING BOX SCORE is provided for our readers as well as for Reihl and his younger brother Adam.

Court records reflect Reihl using the Maryland Public Defender system on one occasion and only once hiring a private attorney; thus the money he saves on lawyers is used on paying fines. But court records reflect that on nearly a half dozen occasions he has been granted a deferred payment status by the courts, meaning that he was able to negotiate plea deals with prosecutors without the help of attorneys and then was able to have his payment deferred.

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Piney Point’s Golden Eye in the bull’s eye of Crab Cops for selling undersize crabs to Hagerstown’s Chics Seafood

PINEY POINT, MD. — After playing a starring role in a federal sting of rockfish poaching in recent years, a St. Mary’s County seafood dealer is once again in the sights of lawmen.

According to the Maryland Natural Resources Police, which is hell-bent to enforce laws against harvesting undersized crabs, reports finding several bushels sold to a crabhouse in western Maryland that were delivered to it by the Golden Eye seafood owned by Robert Lumpkins of Piney Point.

The Maryland Natural Resources Police made good on its promise last weekend to crack down on illegal crabbing activities as part of the “Don’t Get Pinched” campaign.

From seafood shops to recreational crabbers and watermen, officers checked catches, licenses and records as they aggressively targeted violators across the State.

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14 foot boat had 228 undersize rockfish; poaching recreational fisherman fined only $2,000 – got to keep his boat!

ANNAPOLIS, MD. — According to the Natural Resources Police, a Silver Spring man was found guilty last Friday in Annapolis District Court of possessing 228 undersized striped bass. Hervin O. Nunez-Aleman, 34, pleaded guilty to a single violation. He was fined $2,000 and placed on unsupervised probation. An officer with the Maryland Natural Resources Police […]

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