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Wicomico County Man Charged with Illegal Harvesting, Health Violations

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 Messick, 32, of Bivalve, received citations 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 June 6, 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, officers issued citations. The oysters were returned to the water.

Messick has been scheduled for a hearing in Wicomico County District Court Aug. 1.

Two men were charged with impaired boating in separate incidents.

William Taylor Frank Jr., 33, of Georgetown was intercepted by officers at about 8:30 p.m. June 11 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 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. 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.

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.