Tag Archives: Massachusetts Environmental Police

2 men arrested on drug charges aboard fishing boat in Buzzards Bay

Two men were arrested Wednesday on drug charges while aboard a fishing vessel in Buzzards Bay as a result of a port security operation with New Bedford Police Maritime Special Response Team, Massachusetts Environmental Police, the Department of Homeland Security and the New Bedford Police Port Security Unit.,,, The two men were charged after members of the security operation boarded the fishing vessel Blue Ocean, which is homeported in Virginia. The vessel was headed outbound from the Port of New Bedford, police said. click here to read the story 12:39

State and Federal Authorities’ visit to fish house remains a mystery

Business appeared to be carrying on as usual Friday at Lou-Joe’s Fresh Seafood, a day after agents from the Internal Revenue Service and two other government agencies visited the small fish processing plant. Workers were cutting fish on Friday inside the 3,800-square-foot plant at 24 Washburn St., New Bedford, near where Interstate 195 crosses the Acushnet River. Fish trucks were coming and going from the loading docks. An employee in the office said he was not the owner and declined to comment on the situation. On Thursday, about a dozen officials from the IRS, Massachusetts Environmental Police, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration visited the plant. click here to read the story 21:50

Recreational Fishermen caught with nearly 300 more black sea bass than allowed

On just the second day of the black sea bass fishing season, two boats of fishermen were caught by harbormasters with nearly 300 more of the black sea bass than allowed in the recreational limit. The Wareham Harbormaster Department alerted the Massachusetts Environmental Police to the two boats on Sunday at the Tempest Knob Public boat ramp. When officers inspected the first boat, which had four people aboard, they found multiple coolers that contained 225 more black sea bass than the recreational limit allows, Environmental Police said. Fifty-nine of those fish were smaller than the 15-inch limit. That boat also had 98 more scup than legal possession limit, as well as two undersized tautog and one 17-inch striped bass. Click here to read the story 17:25

Two Vessels suspected of catching too many Monk fish are under investigation

From the Massachusetts Environmental Police: On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, a Massachusetts Environmental Police Officer was on patrol in Saquatucket Harbor, an area that has recently received several fisheries complaints regarding vessels offloading catch that exceed the legal limit. While on patrol, the officer observed two vessels offloading monkfish. The Officer subsequently approached the vessel Captains and began the process of conducting an inspection of the catch offload. The inspection resulted in each vessel offloading catch over the legal limit; Vessel 1 was 1293 pounds over, Vessel 2 was 977 pounds over. The case has been turned over to the National Marine Fisheries Service for further investigation. The Massachusetts Environmental Police remain committed to providing quality and professional enforcement of conservation laws. Link 08:09

Lobsters seized from offshore trawler donated to homeless veterans by Massachusetts Environmental Police

Massachusetts Environmental Police donated lobsters seized from an offshore trawler in New Bedford to veterans after officials determined the lobsters could not be returned to the water. Environmental police officers conducted an inspection of an offshore trawler in New Bedford on Sunday and found the vessel caught more than 500 lobsters.  Commercial trawlers are limited to 100 lobsters daily and cannot exceed more than 500 lobsters if caught outside of state waters, authorities said.  “After counting the lobsters being offered for sale, it was determined the vessel was over the 500 count limit,” according to the Environmental Police. “Officers seized the lobsters and cited the vessel for being over the limit.” read the rest here 13:21

Gloucester Lobsterman fined $10K for illegal landings in plea deal – Apology to ‘entire fleet’ delivered in courtroom

The Gloucester lobsterman accused of landing 183 illegal lobsters last November pleaded guilty to 20 of the counts, and was fined $10,000. All other charges against him were dismissed under a plea agreement announced Friday in Gloucester District Court. James A. Santapaola Jr., 40, of 16 Forest St., stood quietly before Judge Richard Mori, responding only with a “Yes, sir,” and “No, sir” when asked if he understood the impact of his guilty pleas and whether he had been coerced by anyone into making them. The pleas, fine and dismissals all came through joint recommendations negotiated by Santapaola’s lawyer, Liam O’Connell, assistant district attorney Aimee Conway, and Massachusetts Environmental Police, which had filed the charges at Capt. Joe & Sons Inc. on East Main Street last fall. While Santapaola did not speak, and left the courtroom without making any comment afterward, O’Connell read into the court record a letter in which his client said he was “humbled and humiliated” by the incident. Read the story and apology letter here 08:03

Arraignment set for man accused of landing 183 illegal lobsters

measuring-lobster_8468_990x742James A. Santapaola Jr., the Gloucester lobsterman accused of landing 183 illegal lobsters last month at a local lobster wholesaler, committed a similar offense in 2006, according to the incident report filed by Massachusetts Environmental Police. On Wednesday, Gloucester District Court Clerk Magistrate Margaret Crateau issued a criminal complaint against Santapaola, 40, of 16 Forest Lane, for allegedly landing the illegal lobsters at Captain Joe & Sons Inc. on East Main Street on Nov. 8. Crateau set Jan. 20 for Santapaola’s arraignment in Gloucester on the misdemeanor charges. The criminal complaint charges Santapaola landed 569 lobsters at Captain Joe & Sons on Nov. 8 that included 144 undersize lobsters, two egg-bearing female lobsters and 37 lobsters with V-notches indicating a breeding female. Earlier, Environmental Police officials said the wholesaler is not culpable in the illegal landings because it never took the lobsters into its possession. Read the rest here 16:09

Massachusetts Environmental Police mum on identity of accused lobsterman

lobster-sizeThe Massachusetts Environmental Police said Wednesday it is not naming the lobsterman for whom it is seeking a criminal summons for allegedly unloading 183 illegal lobsters last Tuesday at a local lobster wholesaler. Major Patrick Moran of the Environmental Police said it is the department’s policy not to divulge the name of the lobsterman or the vessel until its officers have the opportunity to go before the clerk magistrate at Gloucester District Court. “That is our policy and I don’t see it changing,” Moran said. “We still have to protect people who may be innocent.” Moran did confirm the lobsters were landed at Captain Joe & Sons Wholesale Lobster Co. in East Gloucester, but said the wholesale lobster dealer does not share any culpability in the alleged massive violations that included 183 illegal lobsters — 144 undersized, 37 v-notched and two egg-bearing — from the 550 lobsters the unidentified vessel landed. “We are not holding the wholesaler responsible, the reason being they hadn’t taken the lobsters into their possession,” Moran said. “There already was a federal officer on the scene and the vessel was gone by the time they started inspecting the lobsters.” Read the story here 08:02

Unusual policy allows Massachusetts Environmental Police to interrupt shifts to work private details

Massachusetts Environmental PoliceFor a decade, the Massachusetts Environmental Police have operated under an unusual paid-detail policy that national law-enforcement experts warn could jeopardize officers’ commitment to public safety. The practice, known as splitting shifts, allows Environmental Police officers to interrupt their regularly scheduled duties to work a paid detail, provided that they return to work afterward and complete their required hours. It is virtually unheard of among police departments, but a similar policy was in place in New Orleans when the Department of Justice X-rayed that city’s Police Department in 2011. The federal agency found that the NOPD’s split-shift policy was a possible incentive for officers to prioritize extra money over public safety. “Just looking at it from a distance, it looks like it would complicate the ability to separate public work from private work, and that is a huge problem,” said Ed Davis, the former superintendent of the Lowell and Boston police departments. He and other law-enforcement experts questioned whether an Environmental Police officer would be as likely to make an arrest or take any police action if that action meant the officer wouldn’t be able to make it to a private paid detail on time. Read the story here 09:47

Undercover sting operation off Sandwich nets alleged Striped Bass poachers

On Sunday night a small fleet of four boats motored out into Cape Cod Bay. The 50-foot Massachusetts Environmental Police patrol boat Thomas Paine, two smaller patrol boats and an undercover surveillance vessel joined a much larger fleet of well over 60 vessels fishing on a striped bass hot spot off Scorton Creek in Sandwich some time before midnight. Environmental Police were acting on tips from commercial and recreational striped bass fishermen that commercial fishermen were engaging in a practice called front loading, catching striped bass in advance of midnight on Mondays and Thursdays and storing them on board their vessel to sell as if they’d caught them the next day. Five commercial fishermen from the Cape and one from Belchertown were fined more than $1,000 in total, according to Moran. A total of $3,000 in fishing gear was confiscated. The fishermen were given civil citations for fishing during a commercial striped bass closure, possession of striped bass without a clipped fin and possession of an amount of fish over the daily limit for recreational fishermen. Read the story here 09:08

Massachusetts Environmental Police busts Maine skipper for six hidden bags of scallops during offload

57647e37c6d2e.imageA Maine captain faces prosecution after an inspector, who was checking the boat as scallops were offloaded Thursday in Gloucester, reported finding additional shellfish, worth more than $6,000, hidden in the vessel’s hold. “He was offloading at the Cape Ann Seafood Exchange in Gloucester and one of our officers asked to inspect the permit and the catch, and in conversation with the captain asked if he had any more than the 600 pounds, and the captain said no,” said Maj. Patrick Moran, coastal bureau chief for the Massachusetts Environmental Police. The vessel in question, the Loriann, has a home port of Bristol, Maine. “On weighing it in, it was found that it was 607 pounds, or 7 pounds over.” Moran said the inspector asked the captain to look at his permit and inspect the hold, not an unusual request. Read the story here 09:34

Breaking: Eight arrested in drug raids on New Bedford fishing boats

unnamed nb drug bustEight people were arrested on local fishing boats over the past two days in drug raids by national, state and local law enforcement, who seized heroin and opiates that fishermen were intending to use at sea, police said. “This is the second time we’ve done this, and it’s actually a continuing effort to tie (off) the flow of illegal drugs from getting to sea, aboard fishing vessels,” said Major Patrick Moran of the Massachusetts Environmental Police. “This operation, we had eight arrests,” he said. Moran said environmental police worked with the New Bedford Police Department’s marine unit and local officers from the Department of Homeland Security in the two-day operation.  Read the rest here 15:44

Cooler after cooler, bucket after bucket, Five Massachusetts men charged with having hundreds of illegally caught fish

five poachers from brocktonOne of the them was caught last year selling fish out of his trunk in Brockton. The men, whom police have not yet identified, are facing illegal fishing and boating violations after they were caught with hundreds of illegally fished black sea bass and scup in their boat, state environmental police said. Environmental police were conducting inspections off Buzzards Bay Saturday when they came upon the 23-foot boat with five Brockton men aboard. Read the rest here 21:20

State boards 2 clam dredging boats off Provincetown, seizes clams, one Skipper arrested on unrelated charge

On the morning of March 24, Massachusetts Environmental Police patrolling off the coast of Provincetown in the patrol boat Jessie observed two fishing vessels, the Aimee Marie and Miss Maegan, harvesting the surf clams in less than 12 feet of water, according to Peter Lorenz, communications director for the Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs. Read the rest here 10:36

Alleged poacher facing multiple charges

cape oyster poacherBARNSTABLE — A West Yarmouth man accused of poaching thousands of oysters from beds in Dennis and Barnstable last summer also faces a long list of other theft charges. Michael Bryant has several open cases in Barnstable District Court for check-forging, shoplifting and buying stolen merchandise. And on May 1, the 37-year-old was arraigned in Orleans District Court for poaching eels. Read more here  06:31

 

A Wonderful Regulatory By Catch Solution! Environmental Police donate voluntarily confiscated fish to the hungry

sct logoNEW BEDFORD — They were “beautiful fish.” One hundred pounds of fluke fillets — enough to make 250 meals — donated to the Veterans Transition House on Friday with a surprising but welcome knock at the door. The story of these fillets’ “unusual circumstances” began on April 22. That’s when the fluke fishery’s usual 500-pound trip limit decreased to 100 pounds. Read more here  06:47

Patronage alleged after Massachusetts Environmental Police colonel’s pick for top cop job ignored

FOX UNDERCOVER (MyFoxBoston.com) — It was Gary Duncan’s dream job, a big  promotion to coastal bureau chief for the Massachusetts Environmental Police,  where he’s worked for more than 30 years. But instead of celebrating what would probably have been his  final job before retiring, Duncan is left trying to understand what  happened. [email protected] 09:04