Contact: Sgt. Gregory Rhodes, Division of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement, 302-739-9913 or 302-542-6102, or Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902
Four charged in criminal mischief incident at Capt. John Smith Phillips Landing monument
LAUREL (April 12, 2013) – On April 9, DNREC Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement agents concluded a week-long investigation by making four arrests in connection with an April 1 criminal mischief incident at the Phillips Landing public boat ramp near Laurel, in which suspects pulled down the Captain John Smith Nanticoke Exploration Monument and also damaged four road signs. The following charges were issued or are pending:
· Mike A. Hicks, 22, of Laurel, was charged with criminal mischief and trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area. He was fined $180 plus full restitution for the damage, and received one year of probation.
· Matthew J. Trivits, 18, of Laurel, was charged with trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area. He was fined $92 and received one year of probation and 16 hours of community service on state wildlife areas.
· Zachary Lecates, 18, of Laurel, was charged with trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area. He was fined $92 and received one year of probation and 16 hours of community service on state wildlife areas.
· Charges are pending on a Laurel juvenile for his role in the incident. Pending a Family Court appearance, he will be charged with criminal mischief and trespassing after hours in a state wildlife area.
Dedicated in May 2007 to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, the Captain John Smith Nanticoke Exploration Monument commemorates Smith’s historic 1608 expedition exploring and mapping the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. The 8-foot-tall black granite obelisk also marks part of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Water Trail.
“Most visitors to the Nanticoke Wildlife Area and Phillips Landing treat this beautiful, scenic area with respect and enjoy the fishing, boating, picnicking and other outdoor activities that it offers,” said Sgt. Gregory Rhodes of Fish and Wildlife Enforcement. “However, this area also seems to be a popular target for vandalism and criminal mischief by a few who would spoil its enjoyment for others. To anyone considering actions that damage this area, be warned: our agents are watching and we have zero tolerance for your illegal activities.”
DNREC’s Division of Fish & Wildlife Enforcement Section works to achieve public compliance through education and enforcement actions that help conserve Delaware’s fish and wildlife resources and ensure safe boating and public safety. Citizens are encouraged to report fish and wildlife and boating violations to the Delaware Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Section by calling 302-739-4580.
Vol. 43, No. 144