NRP: Aban­doned boat case solved

The Avenue News - - Police Blotter -

An Es­sex cou­ple was charged Tues­day, May 3, with aban­don­ing a boat near Martin State Air­port, said Mary­land Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, Mark Alan Bartels, 49, and Kim­berly Jan Bartels, 43, both of the 1600 block of Sail­away Cir­cle, were charged with il­le­gal com­mer­cial dump­ing, aban­don­ing a ves­sel and al­ter­ing the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber on a ves­sel hull.

Neigh­bors in the area of Martin’s Lagoon off Mid­dle River filed com­plaints with of­fi­cials and po­lice last year about the 37- foot ves­sel, par­tially sunk and tied to a di­lap­i­dated pier, po­lice said. Ini­tial at­tempts by of­fi­cers to de­ter­mine the owner were un­suc­cess­ful.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, in April, mem­bers of the Bal­ti­more County un­der­wa­ter team dove on the wreck and found that while the hull iden­ti­fi­ca­tion num­ber had been re­moved, the Mary­land reg­is­tra­tion num­ber was leg­i­ble.

Of­fi­cers talked with the pre­vi­ous owner, who said he gave the Bartels the ti­tle and $ 1,800 to tow the boat from An­napo­lis for sal­vage, po­lice said. They towed it away on June 29, 2015 us­ing their own boat.

The next day, the Bartels cashed the check and po­lice be­gan re­ceiv­ing com­plaints about a boat, 60- per­cent un­der wa­ter in Martin’s Lagoon, po­lice said.

Us­ing pho­tos taken by the pre­vi­ous owner, of­fi­cers found the tow boat at a Bal­ti­more boat yard and con­firmed it is owned by Kim­berly Bartels, po­lice said.

The Bal­ti­more County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice re­viewed the case be­fore charges were filed.

The Bartels are sched­uled to ap­pear in Bal­ti­more County Dis­trict Court on June 20. If found guilty, each of them could be fined as much as $ 31,500 and be sen­tenced to more than five years in prison.

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