NRP: Abandoned boat case solved
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.