News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Natural Resources Police Blotter

Charles County – On July 25, 2009, the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) patrolled the Aquapalooza Event located on the Potomac River, Fairview Beach area of Charles County. This event draws approximately 2,000 vessels to the area for recreation on the Potomac River. NRP made 410 vessel contacts, investigated three boating accidents, made two arrests for operating a vessel while intoxicated and issued eight citations and 23 warnings.

Garrett County
– On July 28, 2009 at 7:30 p.m., the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) investigated a boating accident on McHenry Cove, Deep Creek Lake, Garrett County. The accident involved two personal watercrafts (PWC) that collided with each other. The operators were not injured in the accident, but the resulting damage from the accident totaled $6740. The operators of the vessels were brothers, ages 14 and 21. The watercrafts were rented by the father. The father, Michael Dennis O’Brien of Odenton, Maryland was charged with permitting a person under the age of 16 to operate a personal watercraft.

Harford County
– On July 22, 2009 in District Court of Maryland in Harford County, Colby Stephen Morgan of Baltimore, Maryland, pled guilty to theft over $500 and was sentenced to the following;
(1) five year jail term; however, suspended all except for one year plus one day,
(2) Restitution for damages and loss of property to the victim(s) in each incident: $1500 for the first victim and $320 for the second victim and
(3) Probation for 36 months.

Morgan was arrested and charged by the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) after an investigation where two vehicles had windows broken and items stolen from the vehicles. The two incidents occurred on the same day, but in different parks. One incident occurred in Rocks State Park and the other at Gunpowder Falls State Park on February 17, 2009. The investigation led to charging Colby Morgan with eighteen charges that included credit card theft, malicious destruction of property and theft over $500. A plea arrangement enabled Morgan to plead guilty on one count of Theft over $500 and the remaining charges being placed on Stet docket. The case was heard by Judge Cooper of the Maryland District Court of Maryland in Harford County.

Worcester County
- On July 28, 2009, at approximately 6:20 p.m., the Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) charged Matthew Stephen Wander of Mount Joy, Pennsylvania with operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol, operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol, and operating a vessel while impaired by a combination of drugs and alcohol. The operator was stopped for exceeding the six knot speed zone in the Ocean City Inlet area.

   July 30, 2009

Contact: Sgt. Art Windemuth

The Maryland Natural Resources Police is the enforcement arm of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With an authorized strength of 249 officers and a dedicated staff of civilian and volunteer personnel, the NRP provide a variety of services in addition to conservation and boating law enforcement duties throughout the State of Maryland. These services include homeland security, search and rescue, emergency medical services, education, information and communications services on a round the clock basis. NRP is the only police force aside from the Maryland State Police that has statewide jurisdiction.

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 461,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority.  Learn more at