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Natural Resources Police Blotter: Impaired Boaters Charged

A waterman and two seafood dealers were charged and three impaired boaters were arrested in recent cases brought by the Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Maryland Natural Resources Police Patrol Boat

A Wicomico County waterman was charged last week with poaching oysters from a designated sanctuary.

Hans Eric Kuntze, 59, of Nanticoke, was seen on June 28 dredging for oysters more than 150 feet inside the Nanticoke River Sanctuary by officers conducting surveillance. When Kuntze returned to the dock at Cedar Hill Harbor, officers inspected the seven and one-half bushels and found all the oysters to be of legal size. He was given citations for harvesting wild oysters from a sanctuary, harvesting oysters in a closed season, failing to have his commercial license available for inspection and failing to have a proper waste container on board.

The oysters were returned to the sanctuary.

Kuntze is scheduled to appear in Wicomico County District Court on Aug. 2. The maximum fine for the four violations is a total of $4,000.

Natural Resources Police officers last week charged two Salisbury seafood stores with having undersized male crabs.

John Eric Crocket, 47, of Skipjack’s Seafood, 1204 Old Ocean City Road, received 13 citations after officers, conducting an inspection, found 294 undersized crabs in his inventory. Bobby Lee Leath, 56, of Fat Boy’s Seafood, 31278 Old Ocean City Road, received one citation for having 13 undersized crabs in his inventory.

Officers returned the crabs to state waters.

Crocket and Leath are scheduled to appear in Wicomico County District Court on Sept. 6. If found guilty of all charges, Crocket could be fined a total of $5,300. Leath could be fined $350.

Saturation patrols during the Independence Day holiday resulted in a number of arrests for impaired boating across the state.

John Michael Hampton, 47, of Elkton was charged with two counts of drunken boating and operating a personal watercraft after sunset after officers stopped him on July 2 in the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. He is scheduled to appear in Cecil District Court on Sept. 23.

Also on July 2, officers patrolling Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County charged three Pennsylvania residents with impaired boating. Timothy William Horn, 55, of Fayettville, and Kathy Jean McCleary, 49, of Chambersburg each received three citations for operating a vessel while under the influence. Eric Richard Guarino, 27, of Malvern, was stopped after officers noticed a person riding on the stern of his vessel. He received three citations for impaired boating and one citation for negligent operation.

All three people are scheduled to appear in Garrett County District Court on Aug. 17.