DNREC Environmental Crimes Unit arrests two Wilmington men on multiple drug and weapon-related charges

DOVER – DNREC’s Delaware Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit arrested two Wilmington men Dec. 31 and charged them with numerous drug- and weapon-related crimes after a traffic stop on Route 1 southbound led to discovery of crack cocaine in their possession. One of the men arrested had multiple warrants outstanding with the Wilmington Police Department, including first-degree robbery, carrying a concealed deadly weapon, and resisting arrest.

Joseph B. Coverdale

Jamar Smith

After pulling over the vehicle and making contact with the driver, Jamar Smith, 30, and passenger Joseph B. Coverdale, a DNREC ECU officer detected an odor of marijuana. An ECU search of the vehicle and the two occupants yielded 27.39 grams of crack cocaine and 1 gram of marijuana.

In connection with the traffic stop, Smith was charged by DNREC ECU with one count each of the following: manufacture/delivery of, or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in a tier 3 quantity; conspiracy second degree – agreement to engage in felony criminal conduct; possession of drug paraphernalia not related to personal use quantity of marijuana; possession of marijuana, and failure to signal continuously when moving right, left, or turning.

In connection with the traffic stop, Coverdale was charged with one count of each of the following: manufacture/delivery of, or possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance in a tier 3 quantity; tampering with physical evidence; conspiracy second degree – agreement to engage in felony criminal conduct; possession of drug paraphernalia not related to personal use quantity of marijuana; and possession of marijuana. Coverdale had multiple warrants outstanding with the Wilmington Police Department for the following charges: robbery first degree; possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony; carrying a concealed deadly weapon – firearm; conspiracy first degree; burglary second degree; and resisting arrest.

Following the traffic stop and initial charges, the Delaware State Police Governor’s Task Force and Delaware Probation and Parole conducted a search of a residence on Deville Circle in Wilmington that yielded 11 bags of heroin and a loaded 9-mm handgun.

In connection with the Deville Circle residential search, Smith was also charged by Delaware State Police with one count each of the following: possession, purchase, own or control of a deadly weapon, semi-automatic weapon, or automatic weapon by a person prohibited, who also possesses a controlled substance; possession, purchase, own or control of a firearm/destructive weapon if previously convicted of two violent felonies on separate occasions; possession, purchase, own or control of a firearm or ammunition by a person prohibited due to a prior violent crime or felony conviction; and possession or consumption of a controlled or counterfeit substance except human growth hormone without a prescription; and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child by committing a Title 16 offense with a child in the dwelling.

Both men were video-arraigned by Justice of the Peace Court 7 in Dover. Smith was committed to the Sussex Correctional Institution in Georgetown on $26,226 secured bond. Coverdale was committed to the same facility on $78,400 cash bond.

Delawareans are encouraged to report environmental violations to DNREC’s Natural Resources Police Environmental Crimes Unit by calling the 24-hour environmental complaints line at 800-662-8802.

Media contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.

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DNREC Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Blotter: Dec. 16-29

Reminder for the week: Renew your boat registration and purchase your 2020 fishing license

DOVER – To achieve public compliance with laws and regulations through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety, DNREC’s Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers between Dec. 16-29 made 1,459 contacts with hunters, anglers, boaters, and the general public, issuing 48 citations. Officers responded to 58 complaints regarding possible violations of laws and regulations or requests to assist the public. A Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police presence continued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area and Michael N. Castle Trail.

Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police Actions

• On Dec. 19, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police officers arrested Daniel L. Wilson, 40, of Dover, for one count of theft under $1,500 following an investigation into theft of a trail camera near Little Creek. Wilson was arraigned through Kent County Justice of the Peace Court 2 and released on his own recognizance, pending a future court appearance.

Citations issued by category, with the number of charges in parentheses, included:

Wildlife Conservation: Hunting migratory waterfowl before/after established shooting hours (1), hunting migratory waterfowl without required federal waterfowl stamp (1), hunting migratory waterfowl with illegal toxic shot (1), hunting migratory waterfowl over illegal bait (9), possession of unlawfully taken game – Canada geese (3), possession of over the limit Canada geese (1), removing antlerless deer parts prior to checking (1), hunting with an unplugged shotgun capable of holding more than three shells (1), and trespass to hunt (1).

Fisheries Conservation: Unlicensed fishing (1) and trespass to fish (2).

Boating & Boating Safety: Operating a vessel with insufficient number of life jackets (1), no navigation lights (1), and no boating safety certificate in possession (2).

Public Safety: Striking an occupied dwelling with shot discharged from a firearm (1), possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vessel (2), operating a motor vehicle at unreasonable speed (1), passing on a shoulder (1), possession of marijuana – civil (1), and possession of drug paraphernalia (1).

Other: Trespassing after hours on a state wildlife area (6)*, trespassing in a closed area on Division lands (2)*, target shooting on a state wildlife area (2)*, operating a motor vehicle off an established roadway on a state wildlife area (3), driving with a suspended or revoked license (1), and theft under $1,500 (1).

*Includes citation(s) issued at the C&D Canal Conservation Area.

DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife recognizes and thanks the majority of anglers, hunters, and boaters who comply with and support Delaware’s fishing, hunting, and boating laws and regulations. The Public are encouraged to report fish, wildlife, and boating violations to the Delaware Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police by calling 302-739-4580 or through the DENRP Tip app on a smartphone, which can be downloaded free of charge by searching “DENRP Tip” via the Google Play Store or the iTunes App Store. Wildlife violations may also be reported anonymously to Operation Game Theft by calling 800-292-3030, going online to http://de.gov/ogt, or using the DENRP Tip app. Verizon customers can connect to Operation Game Theft directly by dialing #OGT.

Are you AWARE?
Boaters – Delaware boat registrations expired Dec. 31, and must be renewed before taking boats out on the water in 2020. Boat owners can register their boats or renew their registrations online, through DNREC’s boat registration office at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, or through private boat registration agents statewide. To find a participating agent or to register your boat online, visit Delaware Boat Registration Information. For additional information on boat registration, call 302-739-9916.

Anglers – It’s time to purchase your 2020 Delaware fishing licenses, as 2019 licenses expired Dec. 31. A valid fishing license is required by most individuals for fishing, crabbing, and clamming in Delaware in both tidal and non-tidal waters. Delaware fishing licenses are sold online, at DNREC’s licensing desk at 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901, and by private license agents statewide. To find a participating agent, or to purchase a license online, visit Delaware licenses. For additional information on Delaware fishing licenses, call 302-739-9918.

Media Contact: Sgt. Brooke Mitchell, Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police, 302-739-9913, or 302-382-7167.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DEFWNRPolice/.

Follow Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police on Twitter, https://twitter.com/DE_FW_NRPolice.

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DNREC monitoring another Lewes WWTP malfunction and discharge of partially-treated effluent into Lewes-Rehoboth Canal

DOVER – Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control staff were dispatched today to the Lewes wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) after Tidewater Utilities notified the Department that the facility was once again forced to bypass stages of its treatment and discharge partially-treated effluent into the Lewes-Rehoboth Canal late Wednesday evening. The bypass lasted two hours while Tidewater operators worked to find a solution for problems with new treatment membranes. By 11:45 p.m. Wednesday Tidewater was able to end the bypass and resume normal treatment of effluent at the wastewater treatment plant.DNREC Logo

DNREC today monitored the WWTP’s operations and Tidewater Utilities’ continued efforts to mitigate recent system malfunctions at the plant. The Lewes WWTP discharged partially-treated effluent from Dec. 18-28, 2019 after a system malfunction caused contamination of the plant’s treatment membranes that filter flow. New membranes were installed Dec. 28, enabling full treatment to resume at that time, but Tidewater reported today that pressure build-up behind the new membranes required a bypass to avoid compromising their use. Tidewater, in consult with the membrane manufacturer, has instituted new operational protocols to minimize pressure build-up moving forward, with no further bypass events expected by plant operators. Tidewater also informed DNREC earlier today that an additional set of refurbished membranes are ready to be put back into service later today to help alleviate strain on the new treatment unit.

DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin confirmed Monday that an environmental violation had occurred when the Lewes WWTP bypassed normal treatment operations between Dec. 18-28 because of the plant’s system malfunction, and that DNREC is currently gathering pertinent information before determining appropriate action. Department staff will continue to monitor the situation at the plant daily as Tidewater Utilities works toward maintaining consistent treatment of effluent without further system malfunctions.

Although the plant is currently back online and has resumed normal treatment of effluent, DNREC also encourages the public who depend on the Lewes WWTP plant to handle their wastewater to continue practicing water conservation while corrective measures continue at the plant.

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Delaware Shellfish Advisory Council to meet Jan. 7 in Dover

DOVER – Delaware’s Shellfish Advisory Council will meet at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 7 in the DNREC Auditorium, 89 Kings Highway, Dover, DE 19901.

The Council will discuss the Delaware Bay oyster stock status and 2020 oyster harvest quota, 2020 blue crab population outlook, possible revisions to shellfish aquaculture regulations and other topics. For more information, including the meeting agenda, visit the Delaware Public Meeting Calendar at https://publicmeetings.delaware.gov/Meeting/63873.

For more information on Delaware fisheries, please call DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Fisheries Section at 302-739-9914.

Follow the Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, https://www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902


DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife announces 2019 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest winners

Winning entry in DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2019 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest by Dave Tally of Camden, titled “Purple Worm,” and taken of two anglers fishing on McColley Pond in Kent County. The photo will be featured on the cover of the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide.

DOVER – DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife announced today that Dave Tally of Camden won the 2019 Delaware Fishing Photo Contest, for best portraying this year’s contest theme, “Get Out and Fish DE.” His winning photo of two anglers fishing on McColley Pond in Kent County, titled “Purple Worm,” will be featured on the cover of the 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide, with four other winning photos to be displayed inside the guide.

The other contest winners are:

  • Second place: “Filling the Basket with Pop Pop” by Michael Cox of Middletown featuring his father and daughter with a bushel of crabs at Woodland Beach.
  • Honorable mention: “It’s All About that Bass” by Jessica Scholl of Wilmington for her photo of Steve and Madison Kohn on Blairs Pond near Milford.
  • Honorable mention: “What a CRAPPIE Day” by Raymond Howard Scheufele of Harrington for his photo of son Raymond Lee on McColley Pond.
  • Honorable mention: “1st Time Fishing” by Andrea Olson of Milton for her photo of daughter Alexandria fishing at the Broadkill River near Milton.w

The winning entries are posted on the Fish & Wildlife photo contest webpage, along with information about the annual photo contests.

DNREC’s 2020 Delaware Fishing Guide will soon be online, with hard copies also available where fishing licenses are sold, at that time. Details for the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s 2020 Fishing Photo Contest will be announced in April.

The Division of Fish & Wildlife’s annual Hunting Photo Contest is currently accepting entries through Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. Information and forms are available on the Division of Fish & Wildlife’s website or from Jennifer Childears at 302-739-9910 or Jennifer.childears@delaware.gov.

Follow DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife on Facebook, www.facebook.com/DelawareFishWildlife.

Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902