(Note: not all of the watermen shown in photo with Gov. Hogan are poachers. They appeared with Hogan on Feb. 27, 2016 to have a breakfast in Waldorf as…
Tag Archives: undersized oysters
Cited by NRP Officer Jeffrey Sweitzer for possession of undersize oysters on Feb. 2, 1998, Shockley provided in-court training for the feckless Dorchester County States Attorney on how to best serve a Pirate Chieftain by entering into a plea bargain which gave the taxpayers no protection from a poacher. Shockley was found guilty on March 9, 1998, with no fine and no time.
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.
ANNAPOLIS, MD. — For the past several years the O’Malley Administration has set out a number of initiatives designed to protect the native oyster species from over-harvesting and to grow the oyster beds, considered vital in that oysters filter Bay water.
As part of that effort, large oyster sanctuaries have been established where oystering is either restricted or banned, making those areas tempting targets for one of Maryland’s other native species — the oyster pirate.
EASTON, MD. — The Maryland Natural Resources Police report that last Friday they charged two watermen with violating the State’s oyster laws in Talbot County.
Benjamin Leonard Reihl, 26, of Chestertown was charged with eight counts of possession of undersized oysters, marking the fifth time he had been caught oyster poaching this season. Adam Vincent Reihl, 21, of Church Hill, was charged with six counts of possession of undersized oysters.
“Our Natural Resources Police are a critical part of our efforts to protect the Chesapeake,” said Governor Martin O’Malley. “Poaching oysters hampers our work to protect the health of the Bay and hurts Maryland citizens and hard-working watermen who live, work and play in our waters.”
Officers stopped a truck on U.S. 50 west of the Choptank River just before 6 p.m. After inspecting and sorting through the vehicle’s cargo, officers determined that 14 bushels of oysters were undersized. The two men were arrested on warrants for unrelated violations.