NRP: Hunting accident, Impaired Boater, Hunting Violations, Illegal Oyster Harvesting

ANNAPOLIS (Dec. 11, 2015)—The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) released the following incident and arrest reports. NRP is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

Man falls from tree stand in Nanjemoy

James Edward Stevens, 54, of Brandywine was injured in an afternoon accident, when he fell about 15 feet from his tree stand while deer hunting off Jacksontown Road in Nanjemoy. He was alone, but used his cell phone to call for help.

The Charles County Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department responded and helped find Stevens using his cell phone signal.

The injured hunter complained of back pain and having no feeling from his waist down. He also was in and out of consciousness. Stevens was airlifted by Maryland State Police helicopter to University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore.

NRP officers found alcohol, marijuana and drug paraphernalia at Stevens’ tree stand. He was not wearing a safety harness. Charges against Stevens are pending.

Impaired Boater Strikes Bridge

Jonathan Gary Deboer, 31, of no fixed address, was charged Wednesday with two counts of impaired boating, negligent operation of a vessel and failing to maintain a proper lookout after his 35-foot sailboat struck a bridge at the mouth of Goose Greek on the Patuxent Naval Air Station and ran aground.

Deboer, who was uninjured, told the police he was moving his boat from North Carolina to Annapolis. Officers took Deboer into custody and delivered him to the St. Mary’s County Detention Center. His boat was secured at the Navy base.

In 2011, Deboer was found guilty in Anne Arundel District Court of operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and received probation before judgment. In 2013, he was found guilty of the same charge in the same court and was sentenced to serve a year, with all but five days suspended. He was fined $1,000, with all but $293 suspended.

Deboer must appear in St. Mary’s District Court on these most recent charges. If found guilty of all counts, he could be fined a maximum of $3,000 and be jailed for one year.

Hunting Violations

Three waterfowl hunters were charged with violations after officers received complaints of trespassing at Vulcan Materials Co.

On Thanksgiving Day, an officer conducting surveillance on the Vulcan property on Riverside Road saw three men enter the property and begin hunting.

Sean Richard Coppage, 30, of Mechanicsville, was charged with using an unplugged shotgun to hunt waterfowl and for hunting without written permission. David Allen Todor, 30, of La Plata, and Evan John Charles, 19, of Hughesville, were issued citations for hunting without written permission. All three received warnings for trespassing on posted private property.

Illegal Oyster Harvesting

A waterman already prohibited from harvesting wild oysters was charged Wednesday with violating that order by Maryland Natural Resources Police.

Officers on saturation patrol on the Patuxent River near Broomes Island stopped a work boat to check 30 bushels of oysters. A man who identified himself as Brian Thomas told officers he was measuring and sorting oysters. He did not provide identification when asked.

One of the officers recognized him as Keith Eric Thomas, 43, of Stevensville. In May 2013, Thomas had his commercial license permanently revoked by the Department of Natural Resources after he was twice charged in a one-month period with harvesting oysters from a sanctuary off the Choptank River in Talbot County.

The charge of oyster harvesting after revocation carries a maximum fine of $25,000 and up to one year in jail. Officers will be meeting with the St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney’s Office to review the case and charges.

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