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  FWC Enforcement Report July 20-26. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - Yesterday, 10:04 AM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officer Travis was on patrol near the Ten Foot Hole Boat Ramp in Apalachicola. He saw a vessel returning to the boat basin and conducted a resource inspection. During the inspection he discovered two undersized trigger fish and an undersized king mackerel. The owner was cited for possession of trigger fish during closed season and issued a warning for possession of undersized king mackerel.

Officer Kossey was on patrol near the Ten Foot Hole Boat Ramp in Apalachicola. He saw a vessel returning to the boat basin and conducted a resource inspection. During the inspection he discovered three undersized gag grouper and four out of season red snapper. The owner was cited for possession of undersized gag grouper and possession of red snapper during closed season.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officers Pifer and Corbin were on vessel patrol when they saw a personal watercraft (PWC) violating the idle speed/no wake zone around the south side of Crab Island traveling towards the east side. A vessel stop was initiated to address the violation. During the stop, Officer Pifer saw signs of impairment and administered standardized field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance of the tasks, Officer Pifer placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.104 blood alcohol content and 0.103 blood alcohol content. The individual was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

Officer Corbin was on vessel patrol with U.S. Coast Guard personnel in the Destin Harbor. The officers saw a pontoon boat cut off another vessel in violation of inland navigational rule. A vessel stop was conducted to address the violation. Officer Corbin saw 11 adults and one youth on board. The boating safety inspection revealed that the vessel had insufficient number of life jackets on board. Officer Corbin determined the vessel was rented. The officer addressed the life jacket violation with the livery personnel. The livery individual who provided the safety equipment was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Corbin was on vessel patrol with an Okaloosa County sheriff’s deputy and responded for assistance on a vessel stop conducted by another sheriff’s deputy. When they arrived, Officer Corbin became the lead officer. The deputy who made the initial stop advised Officer Corbin that he saw indicators of impairment from the operator. Officer Corbin contacted the operator and saw the operator’s eyes were bloodshot and watery and his face was flushed. The operator admitted consuming an alcoholic beverage. The operator voluntary performed field sobriety tasks (FST). The operator had indicators of impairment from the FST performed. The operator was arrested for BUI. The operator refused to provide a breath sample and was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

Officers Pifer and Brooks were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and resource protection in the Destin Pass. The officers received a complaint of a hit and run boating accident that occurred in the Destin Pass near Norriego Point. Reports were received that a personal watercraft struck a 13-ft Boston Whaler. The operator of the struck boat was able to get the PWC’s vessel registration, took a photograph of the PWC and operator and provided the name of a witness from the shore. The officers met with the operator of the struck vessel, and with the information provided determined the PWC was rented from a local livery located in the Destin Harbor. The officers arrived at the livery to find the operator had returned the PWC and left the area. The livery contacted the operator and he returned to the livery. The PWC operator continued to deny that he struck the victim’s boat. Based on the officers’ investigation, the PWC operator was issued a notice to appear citation for leaving the scene without providing personal contact information and failure to notify a law enforcement agency immediately of the accident.

Officers Corbin and Pifer were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Crab Island area of Destin. The officers saw a 24-ft vessel in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone traveling south toward the Destin Bridge. The vessel cut off two other vessels in violation of navigational rules, coming within approximately 30 feet of hitting one of the vessels. A vessel stop was conducted to address the multiple violations. During the boating safety inspection, Officer Corbin saw many indicators of impairment from the operator. The operator agreed to perform field sobriety tasks (FST). The FST performed by the operator indicated impairment. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance of the tasks, Officer Corbin placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator refused to provide a breath sample and was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
JEFFERSON COUNTY

Officer Anderson received a call from dispatch regarding an individual who was broken down on Lake Miccosukee. Officer Anderson contacted the individual who advised that his boat motor had stopped working and that due to the severe thunderstorm, his boat was filling up with water. Officer Anderson advised him to put a life jacket on and paddle as close to shore as possible. Officer Anderson, with the assistance of a Good Samaritan, headed out to find the distressed boater. After locating the boater, it became apparent that he was stuck between two large floating tussocks and they could not get to him. Deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrived in their vessel and were able to get a rope to the individual and pull him out.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
SEARCH AND RESCUE
GILCHRIST COUNTY

Officer Johnston was on water patrol at the Santa Fe River when he was flagged down by a concerned citizen who stated he saw a female subject passed out in a kayak near Ginnie Springs. Officer Johnston quickly responded and located the subject sitting in her kayak, completely incapacitated, and floating down the Santa Fe River. Through emergency lights flashing and lots of shouting, Officer Johnston was able to wake the subject and get a verbal response. The female subject was not wearing a life jacket and could not produce any required safety gear. Officer Johnston could see an empty bottle of wine in plain view sitting between the subject’s feet. The subject refused to perform field sobriety exercises and eventually became verbally aggressive towards Officer Johnston and deputies who arrived to assist with transportation. At the jail, the subject continued her verbal aggression towards Officer Johnston and jail staff while adamantly refusing to provide a breath sample. She was booked into jail for BUI. The subject was issued non-criminal citations for insufficient safety gear and refusal to provide a breath sample (first offense).

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
GILCHRIST/ALACHUA COUNTY

Officers Johnston and Cline provided ground support during a marijuana eradication flight with members of the North Florida HIDTA Task Force. The officers and task force members received information from FWC Officer Troiano regarding an outdoor grow operation in a rural area at the Gilchrist/Alachua County line. With assistance from spotters in an aircraft, Officers Johnston and Cline were able to successfully locate and eradicate roughly 28 marijuana plants from the location.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
PUTNAM COUNTY

Officer Mason conducted a crab trap inspection on a commercial subject in Salt Run and Lake George and saw several gear violations, as well as not having the current years tags attached. The subject was issued a warning for not having the tags attached and was issued a citation for the gear violations.

BREVARD COUNTY

While on late night patrol at Sebastian Inlet State Park, Officer Matthews saw two men fishing in an area where snook are commonly caught. After conducting a resource inspection with the two men, one snook was discovered. A citation was issued for consumption of alcohol in a state park and possession of snook out of season.

Officer Balgo made several cases at area causeways. These causeways are heavily fished at night. One case involved shrimping with too many traps, and the other was for possession of whole stone crab. Citations were issued for the violations.

While on water patrol near Ski Island, Officers Balgo and Delano saw a vessel bearing no registration numbers. During the stop, Officer Delano saw signs of impairment from the operator. Seated field sobriety exercises revealed that the operator’s normal faculties were impaired. He was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and transported to the Brevard County Jail.

While on offshore patrol out of Port Canaveral, Officers Balgo, Hallsten, and Delano saw a vessel with fishing poles and conducted a resource inspection. An undersized cobia was discovered, and a citation issued.

While at Freddy Patrick boat ramp at Port Canaveral, Officer Delano conducted a resource inspection on a vessel coming in from offshore. The inspection yielded four undersized mahi. A citation was issued for the undersized mahi.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

Officers Kearney and Matthews were on vessel patrol in Indian River County when they conducted a vessel safety inspection on a vessel containing multiple occupants. During the inspection the operator showed several signs of impairment. After speaking with the operator and his participation in standardized field sobriety tasks, he was placed under arrest for boating under the influence. The operator refused to provide a sample of his breath and was booked into the Indian River County Jail.

Lieutenant Lightsey was on patrol on the Upper St. Johns River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) when he saw three airboats in a restricted area. After speaking with the operators, the men admitted to knowing the clearly marked area was restricted and that they had run over the existing large buoy line. All three airboat operators received citations for operating a vessel in a restricted area.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
BREVARD COUNTY

Officer Luce responded to a vessel that had overturned in the Indian River south of the Max Brewer Causeway in Titusville during a violent storm. There were four people in the water and eight people from the group were stranded on a nearby spoil island. As Officer Luce approached the capsized vessel, a wall of heavy rain reduced his visibility to 50 yards. Officer Luce confirmed that everyone was accounted for and got the four people in the water onto his patrol boat. He transported an elderly man with a tracheotomy and a husband and wife with their 4-year-old child to Parrish Park boat ramp where EMS was standing by. Titusville officers removed the remaining stranded people from the island using a fire/rescue boat. No medical attention was needed beyond first aid.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer Bertolami and Lieutenant Yetter were dispatched to assist three young adults, a male and two females, who had become disoriented and were unable to find their way from the backwater area of a portion of the Mosquito Lagoon. Just before sundown, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office helicopter was able to locate them. All three were safely brought back to a residential area where they were able to return to their vehicle.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
HERNANDO COUNTY

Officers Canamero and Little were on water patrol and conducted a vessel stop for a resource inspection. The vessel operator stated they had fish on board and the inspection revealed an oversized redfish and undersized spotted seatrout. Resource citations were issued accordingly.

Officer Canamero responded to a complaint regarding work being performed on land with active gopher tortoise burrows. He was able to locate two burrows that had been recently crushed. After further investigation, he was able to identify and locate the subject responsible for the damage and determined that there were no permits issued for the location. The subject was charged accordingly.

LEE COUNTY

Officer Winton conducted a livery inspection at a jet ski rental company on Fort Myers Beach. During the inspection, he determined that several of the rental vessels were not outfitted with the required safety gear, which the company had been cited for several months prior. The manager of the livery was issued a notice to appear for the violation, and a warning for improper display of a registration decal.

Officer Winton was on patrol in Bonita Springs when he saw two subjects fishing from a bridge. A fisheries inspection was conducted, and it was determined that the subjects were in possession of three undersized pompano. Both subjects were issued notices to appear for the violation.

Officer Winton was on patrol at Lover's Key State Park when he saw several subjects wade fishing with cast nets and placing fish in buckets. He conducted surveillance and a fisheries inspection when the subjects returned to their vehicle. Upon inspection, it was determined that the subjects were in possession of two undersized redfish and two undersized sheepshead. Additionally, only one of the five subjects had a valid fishing license. The two subjects that were in possession of the undersized fish were issued notices to appear, and the four subjects without licenses were issued citations for fishing without a license.

Officer Winton was on water patrol in Estero Bay when he stopped a vessel. During a fisheries inspection it was determined that the operator was in possession of an undersized and out of season snook, over the bag limit of mangrove snapper, and four undersized mangrove snapper. The subject was written a notice to appear for the snook violations and the undersized mangrove snapper, and warnings for over the bag limit of mangrove snapper and possessing snook without a valid snook permit.

Officers Hazelwood and Thompson, wearing plain clothes and carrying fishing gear, were patrolling a local fishing spot at night. Uniformed patrol officers Stapleton and Lieutenant Barrett were stationed nearby to initiate contact with anyone suspected of harvesting illegal fish. After most of the subjects left the area, a group of six men started using a cast net along a section of beach known to contain many snook. The men caught a snook and put it in a bucket and began heading back to their cars. The uniformed officers were called in and the men were found to have harvested an undersized snook, out of season, by an unlawful method. Further inspection revealed another undersized snook and three undersized sheepshead. Appropriate charges were filed.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officer Davidson, working with the U.S. Coast Guard, were on water patrol in the area of the Cortez Bridge when they stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel just north of the bridge. U.S. Coast Guard crew noticed that the operator of the vessel seemed to be under the influence of alcohol, so they called Officer Davidson over to investigate and determine the level of impairment. Upon completion of his investigation, Officer Davidson placed the captain of the vessel under arrest for boating under the influence of alcohol and he was taken to the Manatee County Jail.

Officer Davidson was on water patrol near Long Boat Pass when he stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel transiting around Jew Fish Key. Officer Davidson could smell alcohol coming from the captain of the vessel and he was also having trouble with his speech. Officer Davidson investigated to determine the level of impairment. Upon completing his investigation, Officer Davidson placed the captain of the vessel under arrest for boating under the influence of alcohol and he was taken to the Manatee County Jail.

PINELLAS COUNTY

Officer Bibeau saw two individuals actively wade fishing. He watched the individuals for approximately 30 minutes from a concealed location and saw the subjects catch their legal bag limit of redfish and continue to fish. One of the individuals caught a second redfish, putting him over the legal daily bag limit. The subjects attempted to make a quick getaway. Officer Bibeau managed to catch up to their vehicle as they were leaving the area and conducted a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, Officer Bibeau located three redfish. One of the individuals was issued a misdemeanor citation for harvesting over the daily bag limit of redfish and the third redfish was released alive.

While on patrol, Officer Bibeau saw an individual actively fishing from underneath a bridge. He contacted the individual to conduct a fisheries inspection and located an out-of-season and undersized snook. Officer Bibeau wrote the individual a misdemeanor citation for possession of an out-of-season snook and two warnings for possession of an undersized snook and not obtaining a valid snook permit.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Boyd and Schroer were on water patrol in Lake Worth when they received a call about two subjects catching and keeping undersized fish at the Boynton Inlet. When they arrived, they found two subjects that matched the description of the alleged violators. The two subjects were found to be in possession of ten undersized mangrove snapper, one undersized schoolmaster snapper, and one undersized lane snapper. The subjects also did not have their fishing licenses. The two subjects were cited for their violations.

Officers Moss, Rogers and Carroll deployed to Key West for an offshore special detail. The detail consisted of commercial shrimp boat inspections to measure the turtle exclusion devices “TEDs” and pre-lobster season patrol. They conducted inspections on numerous vessels. As they were traveling back to the dock they encountered a subject on a small (dingy) boat that had no navigational lights. The vessel veered in front of the patrol boat dangerously close. The officers attempted to stop the vessel, but it remained underway, ignoring the lights and siren. The vessel finally stopped and the officers noticed the smell of alcohol coming from the subject. He was found to be intoxicated and was placed under arrest. The subject lied about his identity. The officers later found out that he had a felony warrant for battery and a warrant for boating under the influence.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on vessel patrol in the Jupiter Inlet and saw two kayaks with a total of 5 individuals overturn in the inlet with a strong incoming tide. The current quickly separated the subjects in the water from the kayaks. He responded and instructed all subjects to stop attempting to swim against the current. Officer Brodbeck pulled the individuals from the water one by one and, with the assistance of nearby boaters, both kayaks and personal belongings were recovered and brought to shore. Officer Brodbeck spoke with the individuals as well as the kayak rental company about the importance of life jackets and being aware of hazards on the water.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Officer Padilla was on water patrol and conducted a livery safety inspection resulting from a jet ski that had the registration decal improperly displayed. After speaking with the operator, he discovered the livery did not provide adequate pre-ride instructions and was conducting business at a county boat ramp. The livery operator was issued criminal citations for the violations and Miami-Dade County cited the livery operator for the business violation.

Officer Padilla was on land patrol around Morningside Park within Miami Dade County. Before entering the park, he noticed a man actively fishing with rod and reel along the seawall a short distance from the main street. He parked his patrol vehicle and began to approach the man. When the subject realized the officer was approaching, he quickly reached into a dark colored tub, retrieved a bonnethead shark, and threw it back into the water. Officer Padilla yelled loud verbal commands to stop what he was doing and move away from the tub. Officer Padilla discovered another bonnethead shark. The subject was issued a criminal citation for interfering/obstructing an FWC Officer. The subject was also cited for not have a fishing license in his possession.

Officers Sarmiento and Gomez were on water patrol when they saw a vessel heading west coming out of Cesar’s Creek with fishing rods displayed. They stopped the vessel to perform a fishery inspection. The three subjects were in possession of two undersized African pompano and one undersized mutton snapper. Citations were issued for the violations.

Officers Perez and Sample assisted a woman and two children on a broken-down jet ski. The individuals had rented the jet ski from a nearby livery and did not receive proper safety instruction. Upon inspection, Officers Perez and Sample found the livery in violation of three safety regulations. The owner of the livery had previous violations with FWC and had a court order in place. The owner was cited for three misdemeanors, was arrested, transported, and booked into Turner Guilford Knight Jail.

Officers Perez and Sample were on water patrol when saw a boat anchored in Cape Florida Channel with multiple fishing rods on board, and three occupants actively fishing with rod and reel. They initiated a stop on the vessel and conducted a fisheries inspection. Their inspection revealed four mutton snapper that were under the minimum size limit of 18 inches total length. The owner of the vessel was cited for possession of undersized mutton snapper.

Officer Dominguez was on water patrol around the Key Biscayne Special Management Zone. A fisheries inspection conducted on a vessel revealed two undersized hogfish and an undersized mutton snapper. All three fish were harvested using spear guns. Appropriate citations were issued for the violation.

Officer Cartaya was on patrol at Matheson Hammock. He approached a vessel at the boat ramp occupied by two people. After conducting a fisheries inspection, four undersized yellow tail snapper and one undersized mutton snapper were found. Citations were issued for the violations.

Officers Carper, Cosculluela and Sample were on water patrol and saw a vessel running on plane inside a posted manatee zone. They initiated a stop on the vessel and saw four individuals on the boat with dive and lobster gear on board. A fisheries inspection revealed that one subject was in possession of two spiny lobster under the legal minimum size of 3 inches carapace length, and two hogfish under the minimum size limit of 16 inches fork length. The subject was cited accordingly.

Officers Carper, Cosculluela and Sample received a call from United States Coast Guard officers about a vessel operator who ran his boat into the dock at Crandon Park Boat Ramp. Officer Sample conducted a boating safety inspection and saw signs of impairment from the subject. He asked the subject to perform standardized field sobriety tasks, to which he agreed. After determining the subject’s normal faculties were impaired, he was arrested and transported to Turner Guilford Knight Jail.

Officers Sample and Cosculluela were on water patrol at night near the Rickenbacker Causeway. They saw an individual fishing from the concrete pillar underneath the bridge. They approached the subject to conduct a fishery inspection. The subject stated that he had some fish in a small blue cooler and pulled out two blue runners, a grunt, and a porgy. When asked if he had any more fish, he was reluctant to open the cooler again. Upon further inspection, the officers found five undersized mangrove snapper, one undersized mutton snapper, and two undersized gray triggerfish buried underneath the ice. The appropriate citations were issued.

Officers Cosculluela and Sample were on water patrol near Cape Florida State Park. They saw multiple subjects exit the water with lobster gear and board a vessel, then proceeded to leave the area. They initiated a stop on the vessel and saw numerous people on board with dive gear and lobster gear. They conducted a resource inspection and discovered five spiny lobster under the legal minimum size limit of 3 inches carapace length. The subjects were cited accordingly.

Officer Negron was conducting a lobster inspection at Bayfront Park Boat Ramp, within Miami Dade County. He saw a vessel bearing Florida registration with several people on board, pulling into the boat slip. He met with the vessel’s captain and a fisheries inspection revealed that the subject was in possession of egg-bearing female spiny lobster. The subject was issued a citation for the unlawful possession of egg-bearing lobster.

Officers Saavedra and Dominguez were on water patrol near Bear Cut when they stopped a vessel that was returning from a fishing trip. The four people on board were in possession of twenty-one mahi, fourteen of which were undersized. The captain of the vessel was cited for the violation. During a subsequent vessel stop near Haulover Inlet, the same officers discovered a subject to be in possession of two undersized mutton snapper. That subject was cited for the undersized violation.

Officer Blanco and Lieutenant Reynaud were on water patrol in the Biscayne Channel of Miami-Dade County. They saw a vessel operating with a dive flag displayed while not actively diving or having anyone in the water. During the stop, Lieutenant Reynaud noticed a small device made up of a short steel rod with a large hook attached, commonly used for taking lobsters illegally. Officer Blanco verified the presence of lobsters aboard and found 14 lobsters with clearly visible damage to the body and puncture wounds consistent with the illegal method of taking. The subject stated he had used the apparatus on some lobsters. Lieutenant Reynaud asked if there were any more lobsters on board and the subject said there were hidden lobsters in the vessel. The subject pulled two buoyancy control devices used for diving and stated he had wrung tails inside the devices. A total of 18 wrung tails were discovered. The subject and two other license holders were 15 lobsters over the bag limit, with 6 of the wrung lobster tails were undersized. Appropriate citations were issued.

Officers Perez and Moschiano were on water patrol near Cape Florida channel when they saw a few men diving near a sea wall. They stopped and conducted a resource inspection. Upon inspection the subjects were found to be in possession of 16 undersized lobster and were cited accordingly.

Officers Perez and Moschiano were on water patrol near Cape Florida channel when they responded to a tip from Officer Washington about a vessel displaying a dive flag in the Biscayne Bay Lobster Sanctuary. Upon inspection, three men on the vessel were in possession of 33 lobster in the sanctuary, 11 of which were undersized. The men were cited accordingly.

Officer McKinley was on water patrol for mini-season in Biscayne Bay when he approached a vessel with individuals in the water. He saw three rung lobster tails fall out of the shorts of one the persons on board. A fishery inspection revealed the individuals to be in possession of twenty-two whole lobster, of which thirteen were undersized. They were also in possession of one whole stone crab. They were cited accordingly for these violations.

MONROE COUNTY

Lieutenant Munkelt and Officer Sapp were conducting water patrol offshore of Summerland Key. Officer Sapp received a call from FWC dispatch regarding a sailboat that was going in circles with an unconscious person onboard. Lieutenant Munkelt and Officer Sapp located the vessel approximately two miles south of Little Palm Island. The vessel was under power from a small outboard engine and going in circles to the starboard side. Officer Sapp tried to wake the subject, who was laying on the stern of the vessel, utilizing the emergency siren, but the subject was unresponsive. Officer Sapp boarded the vessel and saw two bottles of partially consumed alcohol lying next to the subject. Officer Sapp was able to wake up the subject after several attempts. The subject displayed numerous signs of impairment and was arrested for boating under the influence. He was transported to jail after he refused to give a breath sample.

Officer Sapp was conducting water patrol near Big Pine Key. He saw a vessel coming in from offshore with rods and reels commonly used for trolling and fishing deeper water on the vessel. He stopped the vessel and conducted a marine resource inspection which revealed eight mahi onboard the vessel. Of the eight mahi, seven were under the legal size limit of twenty inches fork length. The vessel occupants were cited accordingly.

Officer Alvarez responded to a complaint after a concerned citizen alerted FWC that there were multiple divers taking lobster out of season. Officer Alvarez saw the divers at the Vaca Cut Bridge near Marathon. He found a bucket of lobsters hidden in some bushes. Officer Alvarez arrested four individuals for six out of season lobster, two of which were undersized. They were also cited for no measuring device and no saltwater fishing license and lobster stamp.

Officers Stearns and Kleis were conducting shoreline patrol when they encountered four individuals fishing under a bridge. While conducting a resource inspection, Officer Stearns found a line tied off to a rock running into the water. Attached was a small chum bag containing four undersized schoolmaster snapper. One individual claimed responsibility and was cited accordingly.

Officers Stearns and Kleis were conducting shoreline patrol and inspecting incoming vessels at a boat ramp in Monroe County. They encountered an individual with 5 undersized lobster. The responsible party was cited accordingly and issued a notice to appear in court.

While patrolling in Monroe County, Officer Curbelo along with the United States Coast Guard conducted a vessel inspection. Officer Curbelo found one of the six lobsters on the vessel was an egg-bearing spiny lobster. The appropriate citations were issued and the egg-bearing spiny lobster was returned to the water.

Officer Yaxley was on patrol with the Coast Guard out of Islamorada. The officers were conducting fisheries inspections on bully netters. They came across a vessel traveling away from the mangroves at a high rate of speed. The vessel was stopped and upon inspection, it was found that two of their eighteen lobsters were undersized. Officer Yaxley cited the responsible individual accordingly.

Officer Yaxley was on vessel patrol when she responded to a request for assistance from the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard had stopped a vessel with a possible intoxicated vessel operator. Upon investigation she determined that the individual was impaired and placed him under arrest for boating under the influence (BUI).

While on patrol on FWC OPV Trident, Officers Foell, Richards and Piekenbrock saw five male subjects snorkeling from a vessel with no divers down flag displayed. As the officers approached the vessel, they saw a male subject with a net commonly used for catching spiny lobster. Once alongside, the subjects stated they did not have any lobster onboard. A further inspection revealed a red “solo” cup hiding underneath a dive fin, under a seat. The cup contained three out of season spiny lobster tails. Two of the lobster tails were under the legal minimum size limit. Post-Miranda, the owner and operator admitted to catching the three lobster and knew it was closed season. The subject was arrested and transported to the Monroe County detention facility on Stock Island, without incident.

Officers Foell, Richards and Piekenbrock responded to a report of a vessel against the rocks on US-1 near South Pine channel bridge. It was found that the registered owner was operating the vessel alone, the night prior, when he hit a concrete power pole. The collision caused the operator to be ejected. The vessel continued on plane, hit the bridge, and ended up on the rocks. The operator swam to land, walked to his residence and did not notify law enforcement. The operator was cited for improper look-out and issued a notice to appear for failure to notify law enforcement of a boating accident.

Officer Carroll was on patrol around Long Key bridge. He saw two subjects with multiple coolers exiting the bridge. After gaining consent to view the contents of the coolers, he discovered multiple species of short snapper. He found dog, mutton, schoolmaster, and mangrove which were all undersized. The proper notices to appear were issued and the fish were returned to the water.

Officers Yurewitch and Holcomb were assisting Monroe County officers with the lobster mini season. The officers were checking subjects along the overseas highway. The officers conducted a resource inspection on a group of individuals which revealed a dead tarpon. One individual admitted to catching and keeping the tarpon. The individual was cited accordingly.

Officers Yurewitch, Holcomb, and Hettel were on water patrol near Key West. The officers saw a vessel returning from offshore displaying a diver down flag. The officers conducted a vessel stop to address the violation. During the stop the officers saw dive gear and spear guns. The officers located 3 undersized hogfish which one individual admitting to shooting and keeping. The individual was cited accordingly.

Officers Thompson and Oldsen were on water patrol in Adams Cut near Key Largo. Officers noticed a vessel that was drifting sideways and had navigation lights that couldn’t be seen. Officer Thompson conducted a safety equipment check and noticed signs of impairment from the operator. After conducting SFSTs, the operator was placed under arrest for operating a vessel while normal faculties impaired. He was transported to jail where he refused to give a breath sample.

Investigator Mattson responded to a PWC versus PWC crash around Key Largo. One of the PWCs crashed into the other and injured a male subject. Officers Rhoda and Maldonado arrived on scene to assist. The man was airlifted to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. Investigator Mattson completed the boating accident report and charges are pending.

Investigator Mattson was conducting plain clothes water patrol looking for lobster poachers. He saw a man freediving in waters of the Upper Keys, about a mile off Tavernier Key. Investigator Mattson saw him shoot a fish and swim it back to the boat. Investigator Mattson approached the boat and identified himself as FWC law Enforcement. The man was cited for spearfishing in the Upper Keys.

Investigator Mattson was on unmarked land patrol around MM 83 when he saw a vehicle passing multiple cars in the center turn lane. Investigator Mattson stopped the vehicle to address the traffic violations. When checking the operator’s driver license through FWC Dispatch, an active warrant was revealed. The no bail warrant was issued by the U.S. Marshals for a counterfeiting charge. The man was arrested and taken to Plantation Key Jail to be turned over to the Marshals after he was issued 2 traffic citations.

Officer Carroll was on patrol and watched four snorkelers as they harvested lobster on the south side of Long Key Bridge. After a resource inspection, the subjects were issued notices to appear for having wrung tails on the water, possession out of season, undersized tails, and no license or lobster stamp.

COLLIER COUNTY

While conducting water patrol, Officer Plussa was flagged down by multiple witnesses reporting a vessel being driven recklessly. The operator was traveling at a high rate of speed north through the wharf area in Naples Bay. Officer Plussa located the vessel, crashed into the mangroves. The sole occupant later identified as the owner and operator, was attempting to leave the scene. The subject admitted to Officer Plussa that he had been operating the vessel at a high rate of speed. The operator was arrested for reckless operation of a vessel, boating under the influence (BUI), and leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury without notifying law enforcement. He was also cited for refusal to provide a breath sample, navigation rule violations, and an idle speed zone violation.

While on land patrol conducting marine fisheries inspections at Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park, Lieutenant Mahoney saw a vessel approach the boat ramp with fishing equipment on board. During an inspection of the vessel, he discovered a barrel containing six undersized mangrove snapper. Four of the fish were released alive and two of the fish were seized as evidence. The owner/operator of the vessel took full responsibility for the undersized fish and was cited accordingly.

Officer Plussa responded to multiple reports of a sea turtle nest being disturbed on Marco Island. One of the witnesses had been watching four people using a well-marked sea turtle nest area as a soccer goal. From a concealed location, Officer Plussa saw one adult and three teenagers kicking a soccer ball into the well-marked sea turtle nest. They entered the nest area with total disregard of the posted “do not disturb sea turtle nest” sign. The adult admitted to seeing the sign posted at the nest site. Officer Plussa issued the adult appropriate charges for disturbing the sea turtle nest.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
MONROE COUNTY

Officers Messier and Way conducted a three-day patrol of the Dry Tortugas and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Tortugas North and South Ecological Reserves. While outbound towards the Dry Tortugas, Officer Messier and Way saw a high-performance center console travelling east-bound at a high rate of speed with fishing gear on board. Officers Messier and Way acquired the proper bearing so as to conduct an intercept of the high-performance vessel. Upon seeing the law enforcement vessel closing distance, persons on the bow of the vessel began moving about the console. Blue lights and sirens were activated, and the vessel came to a stop. Once alongside, a marine fisheries inspection revealed the operator to be over the bag limit of red grouper and six fillets of red grouper were found in a plastic bag hidden in a trash can. The operator was cited for the violations.

Officers Messier and Way conducted a marine fisheries inspection on a vessel at anchor on Colbin Rock with persons on board spearfishing. The inspection revealed undersized mutton snapper being used as bait, undersized black grouper and a filleted nurse shark not in whole condition. The operator and crew were cited for the violations.

While entering the Tortugas North Ecological Reserve (no-anchor and no fishing area), Officers Messier and Way spotted a target on radar on Tortugas Bank. At a two-mile distance, the officers identified the vessel as a 100 ft. charter head boat that frequents the area. The officers proceeded closer and saw that the vessel was on anchor and not using the mooring buoys available to them a few hundred yards away. The officers came alongside to conduct an inspection and found the vessel to be operating under a researcher permit. Although the research staff had the proper permits on board, the for-hire captain was in violation of anchoring inside the Tortugas North Reserve. In addition, the inspection revealed that crew members of the vessel had harvested and were in possession of snapper and grouper species. The vessel captain was cited for the violations.

Officer Yaxley was on patrol with the Coast Guard out of Islamorada near Alligator Lighthouse when they noticed an individual anchored and actively engaged in fishing in the Special Protected Area. As they approached, the individual was attempting to reel in a catch. The individual had his GPS on which noted the area as the SPA along with the physical markers. Officer Yaxley cited the individual accordingly.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MONROE COUNTY

Officer Dube gave a FWC presentation on the do’s and don’ts for the “Lobster Sport Season” at the Ocean Reef Club’s Town Hall in North Key Largo. Officer Dube gave a brief overview on the current laws and regulations along with boating and dive safety tips to keep everyone safe. Officer Dube passed out FWC information and concluded his presentation with a Q and A session.

Officer Dube was on the radio show circuit in the Upper Keys discussing the laws and regulations for the upcoming “Lobster Sport Season.” As the guest speaker on several local media market radio shows, he gave tips on how to stay safe and obey the laws and regulations during the lobster 2-day sport season.

Officer Dube was the co-host on the Friday night radio show with Captain Bill Kelly from the new Sandbar restaurant in Islamorada. Officer Dube talked about the upcoming lobster mini-season and all the do’s and don’ts. They also discussed dive flag and boating safety tips to keep everyone safe during this annual event which draws approximately 50,000 people to the keys from all over the United States and world.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Plussa attended the Audubon Society of Western Everglades season-end meeting held in Marco Island and spoke to a group of over 100 residents regarding the shared success between Audubon biologists and the University of Florida during the 2018 burrowing owl nesting season. The geographical and banding data combined with FWC enforcement efforts resulted in over 190 pair of burrowing owls. These efforts doubled the number of chicks into adulthood.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Officer Negron responded to an emergency about a person drowning at the Haulover Sand Bar within Miami Dade County. The call came from FWC Lieutenant Smith who brought the person to Haulover fuel point. The subject was unconscious and foaming of the mouth and with no pulse. Lieutenant Smith and Officer Negron began CPR until emergency medical services arrived and took over the scene. Lieutenant Smith and Officer Negron continued to assist EMS with CPR. Two witnesses stated that they were anchored at the Haulover Sand Bar and they saw the subject in the water and after a few minutes they saw him floating face down in the water. EMS transported the subject to Aventura Hospital Emergency Room. At the hospital, Officer Negron met with an ER nurse and physicians who advised that the subject was in a stable condition with a possible spine injury.

COLLIER COUNTY

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office requested assistance from FWC in a search for missing individual in Immokalee. The missing person, an 82-year-old male had walked away from his home the prior evening. Lieutenant Bulger and Officers Reams and Thurkettle responded with an all-terrain vehicle and swamp buggy to search the area. An extensive search of nearby wooded areas, orange groves and farm land were conducted. The subject was not located during the search. Collier County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
MONROE COUNTY

The Keys FWC dive team members met with members of Monroe County Sheriff’s office at the Coral Restoration Foundation in Key Largo. The team members were given a history and education classroom session. Lieutenant Pomares, Investigators Mattson and Hein and Officer Way went out to dive an area between Pickles and Conch Reef known as the Tavernier Nursery. The divers did a 2-tank dive followed by cleaning some of the coral “trees.” On the second dive, team members prepared and hung coral on the trees. At the end of the second dive they used a lift bag to bring up 2 old derelict spiny lobster traps. The traps were in the nursery and could have caused damage to the coral.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Polly and McVaney responded to a residence in North Naples regarding a bear complaint. Upon arrival, the homeowner told them that a bear had been in her house. The bear had entered through a screened patio then accessed the home through an open window. Once inside the house the bear rummaged through the trash and removed and ate items from the refrigerator. The bear exited through the same window. Officers notified the area bear biologist and a trapping effort is underway.

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  FWC Enforcement Report July 6-19. All Regions.. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 08-07-2018, 03:15 PM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officers Clark and Long were on vessel patrol in Quietwater Beach. The officers saw a male and female on a vessel arguing. Officer Clark stopped the vessel and spoke to the operator. While he was conducting a safety inspection, Officer Clark could smell a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. He also noticed his eyes were very bloodshot and glassy. He asked the operator if he had been drinking and he advised he had. Officer Clark asked the operator if he would submit to field sobriety tasks (FST) and he agreed. After the conclusion of the FSTs, the operator was arrested for BUI. A breath sample of .223 blood alcohol content and .224 blood alcohol content was obtained.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Travis and Stephens were on patrol in the Apalachicola Bay. The officers boarded a vessel returning from fishing to conduct a resource inspection. Officer Travis asked the subjects on board if they had any fish to which one stated “yes” and the other stated “no.” After further inspection, Officer Travis discovered an undersized gag grouper. The grouper was seized for evidence and the owner cited for the violation.

GADSDEN COUNTY

Officer Jones was on patrol off Iron Bridge Road and the Ochlockonee River when he saw a vehicle parked at the boat ramp. He walked the river’s edge and saw two males with their backs towards him. One of the subjects was in possession of an assault style weapon. Officer Jones identified himself from a position of advantage and told the subject with the weapon to put it down. The subject complied and appeared very nervous. Officer Jones asked the subject with the weapon if it was his and the subject replied that it belonged to a friend. The subject only gave the owner’s first name stating he did not know his last name. Officer Jones collected the weapon observing the serial number was altered and walked back to the boat ramp with the subjects. Officer Jones secured the weapon in his vehicle and asked the subjects for identification. They stated they were in the center console. Officer Jones asked if it was ok if he retrieved the licenses and the subject said it would be fine. When Officer Jones opened the console he saw a clear bag that appeared to contain marijuana. The ID was under the drugs. Officer Jones collected the drugs and secured them in his vehicle. Officer Jones arrested the subject with the firearm for possession of a weapon with an altered serial number. The other subject was issued a notice to appear for the drugs. The following day Officer Jones received a call from the Tallahassee Police Department regarding a burglary where an AR 15 was stolen. After meeting with the police officer, it was determined that the subject in possession of the weapon at the Ochlockonee River was at the residence prior to the firearm being stolen.

JEFFERSON COUNTY

While conducting vessel patrol on the Wacissa River, Officer Wilcox saw a vessel approaching the boat ramp at the headwaters. When the occupants of the vessel saw her standing on the dock, they pulled to a stop in the grass opposite the dock. Officer Wilcox called the operator over to her twice before he complied. During the boating safety inspection, the vessel operator showed several signs of impairment and Officer Wilcox could smell the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the operator. The operator agreed to participate in a series of field sobriety tasks during which he showed several more signs of impairment. The operator was booked into the Jefferson County Jail and provided a breath sample which was above the legal limit. On the same day, Officer Wilcox was conducting a boating safety inspection on a vessel when she saw a case of beer in the vessel. The single occupant of the vessel was not old enough to possess alcohol and he admitted to consuming alcohol. Upon providing a breath sample of .07 (which is more than three times the limit of .02 for a person under 21), the subject was issued a citation for possession of alcohol by a person under 21 and for a person under 21 operating a vessel with blood alcohol content of .02 or higher.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Maltais was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and enforcement of the slow speed/minimum wake zone in the Intracoastal Waterway near Brooks Bridge. The officer saw a personal watercraft (PWC) in violation of the minimum wake zone. Further, the operator did not have his life jacket buckled and the passenger was not wearing a life jacket. The vessel was stopped to address the violations. In communication with the operator, the officer saw his eyes were glassy, bloodshot, watery and red and he also smelled the moderate odor of alcoholic beverage on his breath and person. Officer Maltais conducted field sobriety tasks (FST) to determine if the operator was impaired. After the FSTs were completed, the operator was arrested for BUI. The operator provided two breath samples, resulting in 0.150 and 0.155 blood alcohol content. He was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

Officers Bartlett and Pifer were conducting state fisheries inspections at the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier. An individual was found in possession of nine undersized bluefish. The individual was cited and issued a notice to appear citation for over the bag limit of bluefish.

Officer Corbin and Lieutenant Hahr were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and resource protection. The officers saw a personal watercraft (PWC) on full plane traveling north from the Destin Bridge toward Crab Island in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. The officers conducted a vessel stop on the PWC to address the violation. In communication with the operator, Officer Corbin smelled a distinct odor of cannabis coming from the vessel. The operator admitted there were three “blunts” in the vessel compartment. Also, a multicolored glass smoking device containing burnt cannabis and a medicine bottle containing cannabis were discovered. Both the operator and passenger were issued notice to appear citations.

Officers Corbin and Pifer were on vessel patrol near the entrance of Destin Harbor. The officers saw a vessel being operated with three children on board who were under six years of age and not wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs). A vessel stop was initiated to address the violation and to conduct a boating safety inspection. It was determined the pontoon was a rental and the livery failed to provide the required, properly fitting life jackets for the children. A notice to appear citation was issued to the livery for failing to provide the required life jackets for the occupants on board.

Officer Wilkenson received information from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regarding a possible state fisheries violation. The USCG made a vessel stop and during the safety inspection they saw what appeared to be an undersized red snapper. Officer Wilkenson arrived at the USCG Station Destin, contacted the vessel owner and received consent to board the vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection. The inspection revealed undersized red snapper and vermilion snapper. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Corbin was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and resource protection in the Destin Pass area. The officer saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying rods and reels. The officer conducted a vessel stop and, during the safety inspection, determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed two undersized red snapper and two undersized vermilion snapper. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation for the undersized fish.

Lieutenant Bartlett, Investigator Schafer, and Officer Pifer were on water patrol around Crab Island when they saw a vessel leaving the area. As the vessel navigated through the other anchored vessels, the vessel’s motor caught the anchor line of another vessel. The vessel also had fishing gear on board. After the vessel cleared the other anchored vessel, a stop was initiated to conduct a saltwater fisheries and boating safety inspection. During the inspection, Officer Pifer saw signs of impairment from the operator. Officer Pifer administered standardized field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the field sobriety tasks, Officer Pifer placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.184 and 0.164 blood alcohol content.

Officers Long and Clark and Investigator Molnar conducted a vessel stop on a vessel violating the idle speed zone at Crab Island. While speaking with the operator, the officers noticed the operator was showing multiple signs of impairment. Officer Long conducted field sobriety tasks (FST) on the operator to determine impairment and arrested the operator for BUI. The operator refused to provide a breath sample. The operator was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

Officers Corbin, Mullins and Roberson were on water patrol in Destin when they saw a vessel in violation of the idle speed-no wake zone and passing other vessels. They conducted a vessel stop to address the violation and conduct a boating safety inspection. While conducting the inspection, the operator showed signs of impairment. The operator was asked to conduct field sobriety tasks (FST) and he agreed. More clues were shown throughout the tasks and the operator was placed under arrest for BUI. The operator provided two breath samples of .226 blood alcohol content and .220 blood alcohol content.

Officers Corbin and Mullins were on water patrol in Destin when they saw a kayak with two subjects on board struggling to paddle against the tide and current. The officers pulled alongside the kayak and asked if they needed any assistance. They stated yes and advised they rented the kayak in the Destin Harbor. The subjects did not have life jackets or a sound producing device and when asked if they were given the items when they rented the kayak, they stated no. A livery inspection was conducted and the livery was issued a notice to appear citation for renting a vessel without the proper boating safety equipment and a written warning for not having boating safety information displayed at the livery.

Officers Corbin and Mullins were on water patrol at the Destin West Jetty when they saw two subjects within 100 feet of the jetty and public beach with spearfishing equipment. An Okaloosa County deputy was also on scene and advised a spear gun had been dropped by their dive flag. More spearfishing equipment was located on the jetty. Both subjects admitted to spearfishing within 100 feet of the jetties and beach and were issued notice to appear citations.

Officers Corbin and Mullins were on patrol when they were dispatched to a hit and run boating accident in the Destin Harbor. The complainant advised the vessel had struck two docked vessels and was currently in the back of the cove aground. The officers arrived on scene, located the vessel, and saw the operator sitting in the captain’s seat of the vessel. The subject was assisted to shore, and a boating accident investigation was conducted. The operator did not remember striking either vessel. While speaking with the operator, the officers saw signs of impairment. The operator was asked to conduct field sobriety tasks (FST) and he agreed. More clues of impairment were apparent throughout the tasks and the operator was placed under arrest for BUI. The operator provided two breath samples of .142 blood alcohol content and .153 blood alcohol content.

Officer Bartlett and Roberson were on water patrol around Crab Island when they saw a PWC on plane in the idle speed/no wake zone. The officers conducted a vessel stop to contact the operator and address the boating violation. While Officer Bartlett was speaking with the operator, he saw several signs of impairment and asked the individual to perform the voluntary field sobriety tasks. Based on the operator’s performance during the tasks he was arrested for BUI. The operator later provided two breath samples resulting in a 0.134 and 0.133 blood alcohol content.

Officer Roberson and Bartlett were on water patrol at Crab Island when they received a call from U.S. Coast Guard Station Destin who stated they were currently on a vessel stop and suspected the vessel operator was impaired. When the officers arrived on scene, Officer Roberson assisted USCG with conducting a boating safety inspection. Based on the signs of impairment Officer Roberson saw during the safety inspection, he asked the operator to perform voluntary field sobriety tasks. After the tasks were completed, Officer Roberson arrested the operator for BUI. The operator later provided a breath sample resulting in a 0.128 and 0.116 blood alcohol content.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officers Clark and Long were on patrol in the Yellow River Management Area. They saw a silver vehicle traveling in the management area with an expired tag. Officer Clark initiated a traffic stop and asked the driver for his license, but he could not produce one. He advised that he didn't have it with him. After identifying the driver, it was discovered that he has had seven prior suspensions on his Florida Driver License and that he did not have a current valid license. Officer Clark determined the driver had knowledge of his suspension. During the stop, Investigator Schafer determined the passenger had a warrant out of Santa Rosa County. Officer Clark charged the subject with driving while license is suspended or revoked with knowledge and both the driver and occupant were transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail.

Officers Clark and Long and Investigator Schafer were on marked vehicle patrol in Blackwater State Forest. Officer Clark contacted a subject and saw a cooler in the back of his truck. When asked, the operator stated that he had alcohol which is illegal to possess in the State Forest. While talking with the operator, Officer Clark could smell the odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle. He had the operator exit the truck and asked if he had any marijuana in the vehicle. The operator advised that he did and that it was hidden in the center console next to the driver’s seat. The marijuana was retrieved along with a glass pipe and metal rod. The operator was cited for possession of marijuana under 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia and was given a warning for possession of alcohol in Blackwater State Forest.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
CITRUS COUNTY

Officer Reid was on water patrol in the Homosassa River when he saw a canoe flipped over. Officer Reid helped get the canoe righted and noticed a bag containing a green leafy substance attached to one of the PFDs. The subject showed signs of impairment. Officer Reid conducted several tasks and determined the operator was impaired. The subject was arrested and taken to jail where he provided a sample of his breath at .087 bac. He was also cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

Citrus County officers worked the opening of scallop season. There was moderate activity and the officers made four reckless operation cases for vessel operators running on plane too close to dive flags with people in the water.

Officer Reid and Investigator Thomason were working the City of Inverness fireworks display on Lake Henderson. There were numerous vessels on the lake and Reid and Thomason stopped a pontoon boat for no navigation lights. The operator showed signs of impairment. They conducted several tasks and determined the operator was indeed impaired. The operator was arrested and taken to jail where he provided a sample of his breath at .118 blood alcohol content.

ALACHUA COUNTY

Officer Drew received information of a suspect who had been captured on video loading a deer behind the Bass Pro Shop. After a review of the video revealed a tag number for the suspects’ vehicle. The suspect was in Taylor County where Officer Drew, with the assistance of Officer Albritton, received written confessions, the 17-caliber weapon used, and information where the doe hide had been dumped. Officer Drew will be filing multiple charges with the Alachua State Attorney’s Office to include taking deer during closed season and simple trespass.

DUVAL COUNTY

Lieutenant Arkin and Officer Schirbock were on vessel patrol 12.5 miles offshore from Mayport Inlet in the Atlantic Ocean when they conducted a resource/fisheries inspection on a vessel with three subjects onboard fishing at the M-R Site. The fisheries inspection revealed 26 black sea bass, eight red snapper, and two cobia. The two adult subjects on board were issued federal citations for possession of red snapper during a closed season, possession over the bag limit for black sea bass and possession of undersized black sea bass (most of the black sea bass were between 5”- 8”), and possession of undersized cobia. The vessel captain was also issued a notice to appear for improper use of a vessel dealer number and an infraction citation for expired flares.

DIXIE COUNTY

Officers Burnsed, Tyler and Fanelli were on water patrol in Dixie County when the officers saw a man and woman fishing from a flats boat and stopped the boat to conduct a fishery inspection. They were found to be in possession of seven undersized spotted sea trout. The male subject was issued a notice to appear for the violation.

BAKER COUNTY


Officers Burnsed, Tyler, Fanelli and Reserve Officer Lee were working a private deer dog hunting club, listening for free running deer dogs. The officers heard some dogs around 6:30 a.m. A truck driver with a dog box, who was trying to keep up with his dogs, was stopped in the area for a hunting inspection. The subject admitted to the officers that he was using free running dogs to chase deer. The subject was issued a notice to appear for the violation.

COLUMBIA COUNTY

Officers Johnston and Tyler were on park patrol in the Ichetucknee Springs State Park when they saw an underage female subject attempting to hide an alcoholic beverage when she saw their patrol vehicle. She hid the alcoholic beverage in the trunk of the vehicle and slammed the trunk shut as the officers approached on foot. The force of the door slamming sent a rush of cannabis smoke-filled air from the vehicle directly into the faces of both officers. During a search of the vehicle, the officers found alcoholic beverages, cannabis, drug paraphernalia and multiple forms of identification. One of the driver licenses found by Officer Johnston was determined to be a fraudulent form of identification manufactured in a foreign country. The ID appeared to be from the state of Mississippi and displayed an image of the female subject but had a false date of birth. The driver license number was found to be assigned to an actual male subject in Mississippi. Multiple misdemeanor charges are being filed with the Columbia County State Attorney’s Office for the drug and alcohol related violations as well as one felony charge for unauthorized use/ possession of a fake driver’s license.

Lieutenant Kiss was doing computer work in the parking lot of Oleno State Park when he received a call regarding a suicidal woman near his location. The woman was texting with her husband and threatened suicide multiple times. Columbia County deputies as well as Officer McGrath responded, and a search ensued in a downpour of rain. After a 30 to 40-minute search, the woman was located. She was distressed and very upset. She was secured, Baker Acted and taken to a local facility for evaluation by the Columbia County deputies.

TAYLOR COUNTY

Officers Albritton and Dasher were on patrol in south Taylor County when they saw subjects fishing in a borrow pit in the Sand Hill Hunting Club. After checking the subjects, they were found not to be members of the club and had willfully trespassed to fish. The subjects were cited for trespass.

Officers Albritton and Wilder were checking offshore boats for compliance of the state’s boating safety and marine fisheries regulations at Keaton Beach in Taylor County. The officers found two individuals on a vessel to be in possession of over the bag limit of red snapper. The officers issued the appropriate citation.

NASSAU COUNTY

While checking a subject on the George Crady Fishing Bridge in Amelia State Park, Officer Sweat saw a vehicle parked in a turn lane at the entrance to the main parking lot. After approximately 10 minutes, Officer Sweat approached the vehicle to conduct a welfare check. The operator’s eyes were bloodshot, glassy and watery. His speech was slurred and incoherent. The keys were in the ignition of the vehicle and the vehicle was off. Officers Culbreth and Barry arrived to assist. Officer Culbreath located an opened bottle of Captain Morgan rum beside the operator on the front seat along with a .357 magnum pistol. Officer Sweat conducted field tasks and the operator performed poorly. After being booked in the Nassau County Jail, he submitted breath samples of 0.292 and 0.267.

Investigator Thomason coordinated a targeted enforcement detail named, “Operation Scallop Scalper,” which targeted boaters operating recklessly close to divers down flags, as well as boating safety. Investigator Thomason, along with Investigator Sumpter, posed as scallop fishermen while displaying a diver down flag from their vessel. Because of the hundreds of vessels in the scallop grounds off Crystal River and Homosassa, which runs from Chassahowitzka to the Crystal River Channel, Investigator Thomason had four chase boats available manned by Lieutenant Jones, Officer Reid, Officer Browning and Officer Ulrich. During the detail they wrote six citations for reckless operation and four citations for careless operation. All 10 citations were directly related to vessels passing within 300 feet of a divers down flag. Additionally, they wrote nine UBCs and 60 boating safety warnings.

MUTUAL AID
SUWANNEE COUNTY

Lieutenant Humphries and Officer Boone responded to a call for assistance from Lafayette Sheriff’s Office after a subject ran from a traffic stop initiated by a Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services officer. The subject had multiple warrants for arrest and fled on foot along the nearby river bank. Lieutenant Humphries and Officer Boone provided waterborne coverage, vessel transport for K-9 units and geographical knowledge to the other assisting agencies that ultimately led to the apprehension of the fleeing subject.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
SUWANNEE COUNTY

Officer Boone attended the Suwannee County Sheriff’s Youth Camp in Branford. He provided a boating safety presentation to the attending children and adults. During the presentation several questions were answered on the topics of conservation enforcement, boating safety and vessel requirements.

Officer Boone contributed to the Suwannee County Police Athletic League event in Live Oak. He provided a boating safety presentation to the large group of children and parents. The topics of discussion included boating safety, resource conservation and state vessel regulations.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
ORANGE COUNTY

While on patrol at Wekiwa Springs State Park, Officer Auber and Investigator Douglas responded to a disturbance in the park. The officers encountered a man standing with his shirt off, smoking a cigarette, consuming alcohol, and appeared to be talking to himself. The subject became argumentative and tried to throw away the case of beer he had in his possession. Inside the case, the officers found a bag of marijuana. The subject was arrested and cited for consumption of alcohol in a state park, possession of cannabis, and littering.

While on water patrol on Lake Conway, Officer Auber and Investigator Douglas conducted a vessel safety inspection. During the inspection, the male operator showed signs of possible impairment. The officers conducted field sobriety tasks and based upon their observations, arrested the operator for boating under the influence and booked him into the Orange County Jail.

LAKE COUNTY

Officer Scrambling responded to information he received of someone snatch hooking fish at the Highway 441 spillway in on the south end of Lake Griffin. Officer Scrambling arrived on scene and saw four black bass and two bluegill dead in the grass. The subject was sitting on the shoreline and was recognized by Officer Scrambling due to previous encounters and violations. The subject had a live bass on a stringer with a hole in its side, consistent with being hooked from the outside of its body (snatch hooking). The subject was issued a notice to appear for the violation.

Officer Scrambling was patrolling on County Road 48 when he saw a truck backed into the grass on the west side of Rumford Road with its tailgate down. This area is a dead-end road known for illegal dumping. Officer Scrambling contacted the subjects, who eventually admitted to dumping illegally. The subjects cleaned up the litter and were cited appropriately.

SUMTER COUNTY

Officer Scrambling was patrolling the Withlacoochee River when he stopped to conduct a resource inspection on a subject fishing from shore. The subject had an active warrant of out of Georgia and was arrested for extradition.

MARION COUNTY

Officers Dias and Fahnestock were on patrol in the Ocala National Forest when they saw tire tracks going into a restricted area. They followed the tracks and came across a vehicle occupied by a male subject. Officers Dias and Fahnestock smelled a distinct odor of marijuana. The subject admitted to the possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Upon search of the vehicle, the officers also located methamphetamine. The subject was arrested and booked into jail.

While on patrol on the southwest end of Lake Weir, Officer Rice saw an airboat stuck on the bank. The operator was trying to get the vessel unstuck after he attempted to cross a county road. During the vessel inspection, Officer Rice detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the operator and saw clues of possible impairment. Officer Rice also saw several empty beer cans floating in the water near the vessel. Officer Rice administered field sobriety tasks and determined that the operator’s normal faculties were impaired. The operator was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and transported to the Marion County Jail, where he refused to provide a breath sample.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer West was on patrol when he encountered an adult male operating his vehicle and unable to maintain his travel lane. After conducting a traffic stop Officer West detected signs of impairment. After the subject completed field sobriety exercises it was determined that his normal faculties were impaired. He was arrested for driving under the influence and booked into the Volusia County Jail.

Officers Sapp and Presser were performing resource inspections in Ormond Beach when they encountered a man throwing a cast net in the Intracoastal Waterway. While checking for a fishing license, the officers learned that he had three active warrants out of Volusia County. He was arrested and transported to the Volusia County Jail.

MARION COUNTY

Officer Dias was conducting water patrol on Lake Weir when he saw a personal watercraft (PWC) violating a no wake zone. He saw the operator bounce the PWC off the dock and begin doing figure 8’s and 360’s while still within the no wake zone. Officer Dias conducted a vessel stop to address the violation and conduct a boating safety inspection. During the inspection, Officer Dias noticed numerous signs of impairment. Field sobriety exercises were conducted, and the operator gave several additional clues of impairment. He was arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail where he provided breath samples of .180 and .161.

BREVARD COUNTY

Officers Hallsten and Eller were on water patrol in the Atlantic Ocean out of Port Canaveral. Approximately 20 miles off Melbourne Beach they noticed a vessel on full plane heading south and loaded with fishing gear. The officers stopped the vessel to perform a resource inspection. The occupants told the officers that they had only caught one undersized mahi on that day but let it go. The officers noticed blood in the back of the vessel that the occupants previously were trying to hose down. A further inspection of the vessel revealed fresh fillets of a previously caught mahi. The subjects were cited accordingly.

Officers Hallsten and Eller were 25 miles off Melbourne Beach when they identified a vessel anchored with five occupants bottom fishing. A resource inspection revealed a cooler of all legal fish. However, both Officer Eller and Officer Hallsten noticed that the stern of the vessel was very cluttered with fishing bags and gear. Closer examination revealed that buried under all the bags of gear was another cooler. The occupants stated that it was a live well. An inspection of that cooler revealed a one-gallon bag full of red snapper fillets. The subjects were cited accordingly.

Officers Hallsten, Balgo, and Delano were on water patrol in the Atlantic Ocean out of Port Canaveral when they saw a vessel approximately seven miles offshore returning to the port. The officers saw an assortment of fishing equipment onboard and stopped the vessel to conduct a resource inspection. Officer Delano conducted the inspection and upon opening the first cooler discovered four large two-gallon freezer bags, weighing over 40 pounds. Interviews resulted in the suspects admitting to having filleted red snapper, cobia, and mangrove snapper while offshore. The conclusion of the resource inspection also revealed that the subjects were over their total aggregate bag limit of snapper and were taking them by illegal method. Numerous federal citations were documented, and the suspects were cited accordingly.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
MARION COUNTY

Officer Rice and Investigator Miller were conducting boating safety checks at Carney Island Boat Ramp on Lake Weir when they saw a personal watercraft (PWC) approaching the pier in violation of the posted idle speed zone. A male was operating the PWC and a female was holding onto the operator. The female was not wearing a personal flotation device. When the PWC came around the end of the pier, the female appeared to be ill and possibly experiencing a medical emergency. The officers headed down the dock to contact the PWC and occupants. When they got halfway to the location, the female fell off the PWC and disappeared below the surface of the water without resurfacing. The officers rushed down the pier and dove into the water. The victim still hadn't surfaced and was feared to have drowned. After searching underwater, the officers finally located the female and pulled her up. She immediately gasped for air and was barely conscious. The officers swam her over to the dock where park personnel assisted them with getting her out of the water and administering first aid.

PUTNAM COUNTY

Putnam County and St. Johns County FWC officers responded to the area of Dunn’s Creek by land and water about a missing five-year-old child. A search was conducted in conjunction with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and the child was located a short time later in an abandoned vehicle.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
BREVARD COUNTY

Officers from Brevard County and Osceola County hosted all the Brevard County State Attorneys to a cookout and airboat tour on the St. Johns River. It was a great opportunity for officers and state attorneys to build a stronger working relationship. Officers used this opportunity to discuss the job of an FWC officer and answer some of the more frequently asked questions concerning fish and wildlife violations.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on water patrol, Officers Rorer and Caldwell received a complaint of an individual cast netting and keeping snook at Cypress Point. The officers responded and located the individual who was in possession of a snook. He was cited for possession of an undersized snook during a closed season.

Officer Rorer and Lieutenant Laskowski were following up on a boating accident that occurred between two jet skis at the Courtney Campbell Causeway. At the time of the accident, the extent of one of the victim’s injuries was not known. They conducted follow up interviews with both operators and determined both operators were inexperienced and did not possess the required boating safety identification card for operating a vessel. During the investigation, violations of three Coast Guard navigation rules to include improper lookout, unsafe speed and required action by a give way vessel were documented. Both operators were cited for the applicable navigational rule violations and for not having the required boating safety identification cards.

While on water patrol in Tampa Bay, Officer LaRosa contacted a vessel and conducted a fisheries inspection. During the inspection, it was determined the subject had a warrant out of Pinellas County for battery. The individual was arrested for the warrant and transported to the Hillsborough County Jail to await extradition to Pinellas County.

While on foot patrol at Medard Park in Hillsborough County, Lieutenant Van Trees saw two fishing poles that had been discarded in the woods just off a foot trail. Since the poles weren’t broken and in good condition, he followed footprints until he came upon a group of men cast netting. Medard Park is a Fish Management Area (FMA) and recreational cast netting is not allowed. Lieutenant Van Trees watched the men from a concealed location as they took freshwater fish with the cast net and threw their empty aluminum cans into the woods. He contacted the group after watching them for a while and addressed the violations. On the way back to their vehicle, the men picked up their fishing poles and Lieutenant Van Trees pointed out the signs they passed advising it was illegal to cast net. Two men were given misdemeanor citations for cast netting in a FMA and warned for littering and not possessing their freshwater fishing licenses.

Lieutenant Van Trees was on water patrol with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit (HCSO) when they stopped a vessel with the two males on board to conduct a boating safety inspection. The HCSO deputy noticed signs of impairment from the operator, and after seated field sobriety exercises the operator was arrested for BUI. Officers Wilkins, Martinez, and Larosa arrived on another vessel to take possession of the operator’s vessel when Officer Martinez noticed signs of impairment from the passenger on the vessel and discovered he was under 21 years old. The passenger admitted to drinking with the operator and agreed to give a sample of his breath via a portable breath tester (PBT). The PBT confirmed the passenger had a Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) of .042 and he was cited for a minor in possession of alcohol. The operator was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for BUI and failure to submit to breath/urine/blood sample.

Officer Wilkins was on water patrol with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit (HCSO) and made three boating under the influence arrests near the Beer Can Island area of Tampa. Officer Wilkins has been mentoring the deputies and helping them with BUI enforcement in their area of operation. They were the first BUI’s for both deputies.

While on water patrol with Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit (HCSO) near Beer Can Island, Officer Wilkins initiated a vessel stop at which time the operator tried switching positions with another occupant. Officer Wilkins conducted a boating safety inspection with the subject who tried to leave the helm and saw the man bracing himself on the vessel, slurring his words, and forgetting the safety equipment asked of him. Officer Wilkins arrested the subject and booked him into the Hillsborough County Jail for boating under the influence and refusal to submit to a test of breath/urine/blood.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Hough and Lieutenant DeLacure assisted the Tampa Police Department with the inventory and transport of numerous turtles and tortoises that were possessed by a wildlife dealer whose Class III wildlife license had been denied. The subject continued to sell and advertise the sale of these reptiles after his license was denied. Charges will be filed with the State Attorney’s Office for the violations.

LEE COUNTY

Officers Garcia and Hardgrove received a tip that a local charter boat captain frequently harvested over the two per vessel limit of African pompano. The vessel was scheduled to return from a two-day trip to the Dry Tortugas the following morning. The officers met the boat at the dock before sunrise the next morning and found the captain to be in possession of 12 African pompano. Appropriate charges were filed.

Lieutenant Spoede and Officer Winton were on water patrol in Matanazas Pass when they saw a vessel which appeared to be weaving and unable to maintain a fixed course. The officers noticed that the vessel did not display a boater safety decal. They stopped the vessel to conduct a boating safety inspection and they noticed that both the vessel and its operator were covered in blood. The operator stated that he did not know where he had injured himself and he appeared to be severely impaired. Field sobriety tasks were administered, and the subject was placed under arrest. As he was being handcuffed, the subject resisted officers, and continued to resist officers as they walked him down the dock at a nearby boat ramp. The subject received medical attention and later provided breath samples of .153 and .149, almost three hours after the arrest. The subject was then booked into the Lee County Jail for boating under the influence and resisting an officer without violence.

Officers Price and Gray were on night water patrol near Lover’s Key State Park when they saw people inside the park during closed hours. In the darkness the officers were able to catch the subjects off guard, fishing along the beach. As the officers approached they could clearly see an open backpack with a bag inside that appeared to contain marijuana. One of the other subjects had a backpack as well and was observed getting items out of it, but they claimed it was not theirs and was abandoned on the beach. Officer Price opened the pack to see if he could identify the owner. Inside was another bag containing a substantial amount of marijuana. Unfortunately for the two men, their car keys, cell phones and other identifying items were inside. The men were read their Miranda rights and later admitted the drugs were theirs. The first package of marijuana weighed 36 grams while the second package weighed 114 grams. Both subjects were arrested for felony possession of marijuana over 20 grams along with other charges relating to drug paraphernalia.

Officer Winton was on vessel patrol off the coast of Sanibel when he saw a commercial charter vessel returning from offshore waters. He stopped the vessel and noticed that the mate onboard was hesitant for him to inspect one of the fish boxes. A search of the fish box revealed 23 snapper (multiple species) not in whole condition, as well as 6 undersized yellowtail snapper. The captain of the vessel was issued a notice to appear for the violations.

Officer Winton was on federal water patrol in the Gulf of Mexico when he came across a vessel with the occupants actively fishing. A vessel stop was conducted, and it was determined that the occupants were in possession of one undersized gag grouper, two undersized red grouper, an undersized and out-of-season gray triggerfish, and two undersized lane snapper. The captain of the vessel was issued multiple citations and warnings for the violations.

Officer Winton was on patrol in Matlacha when he noticed a vessel being trailered without a license plate attached. He stopped the vehicle and determined that the subjects had been fishing and were in possession of snapper and sheepshead. In the subject’s cooler, Officer Winton discovered 5 undersized mangrove snapper and 2 undersized sheepshead. Additionally, the driver of the vehicle did not have a valid fishing license. The driver was issued a notice to appear for the fisheries violations, and warnings for an expired fishing license and for driving a trailer without a license plate attached.

Officers Price and Gray were on water patrol near Redfish Point when they saw two people leaving a waterside bar on their jet skis. They left on plane and ran through two different slow speed areas. When the officers attempted to stop the PWC’s, only one of them complied. During the vessel safety inspection, the officers noticed signs of impairment. The officers administered sobriety exercises and he was arrested for boating under the influence. At the jail, he submitted to a breath test which resulted in a breath alcohol level of .125.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officers Gonzales and Dalton were on water patrol around Long Boat Pass when they conducted a boating safety inspection on a vessel transiting near the pass. During the inspection, the officers saw indicators in the operator’s behavior that led them to believe he may be under the influence of alcohol. The officers assessed the operator’s level of impairment to determine if he was able to operate his vessel safely. After their investigation, they placed the operator under arrest for boating under the influence of alcohol and he was taken to jail. The subject will have to appear in court for his violation.


Officer Davidson, along with two U.S. Coast Guard members, were on water patrol around the Cortez Bridge. They stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel heading north towards the bridge. Officer Davidson could smell alcohol coming from the captain of the vessel and he was also having trouble with his speech. Officer Davidson investigated to determine the subjects level of impairment. Upon completion of his investigation, Officer Davidson placed the captain of the vessel under arrest for boating under the influence of alcohol and he was taken to the Manatee County Jail.

Officer Grenz was on land patrol around the South Skyway Fishing Pier. She conducted a fisheries inspection on an individual fishing from the pier. During the inspection, Officer Grenz found that the subject had one undersized gag grouper. The subject was issued a criminal citation for possession of undersized gag grouper and will have to appear in court for the violation.

PASCO COUNTY

Officer Balfour was on land patrol in Werner Boyce Salt Springs State Park when he saw a vehicle drive through a stop sign and fail to pay the entrance fee. The officer stopped the vehicle for the violations. During the stop, he learned the driver was driving with a previously suspended license. Officer Balfour arrested the driver for driving without a license and issued several citations and warnings for the various state park violations.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer LaRosa initiated a fisheries inspection with a subject who stated he only caught a bonnet head shark. Upon inspecting his cooler, Officer LaRosa found an undersized gag grouper hidden under the shark. The individual was cited for possession of an undersized gag grouper.

While on patrol at the Gandy Bridge, Officers Bibeau and Litherland saw multiple individuals actively fishing from the shoreline. The officers watched the individuals from a concealed location and contacted the them as they prepared to leave the area. The officers conducted a fisheries inspection and located two undersized and out of season snook. Officer Bibeau read the individuals their Miranda Rights and after a short series of questions one of the individuals admitted to accepting the snook from another subject earlier in the day. Officer Bibeau wrote the individual a misdemeanor citation for possession of snook during closed season and warnings for undersized snook and not obtaining a valid snook permit.

While on water patrol at the Gandy Bridge, Officers Ferguson and Phillippi saw two males fishing underneath the bridge from a support piling. Officer Phillippi dropped Officer Ferguson off on the piling to conduct a resource inspection at which point he saw two mangrove snapper laying on the piling. Officer Ferguson asked if there were any other fish besides the snapper laying on the piling and one of the subjects stated he had another mangrove snapper in his bait bucket. Upon inspecting the bait bucket, Officer Ferguson found a 12” red grouper swimming inside. Officer Ferguson laid all the fish next to each other and showed the subjects how they clearly weren’t the same species. The subject responsible for the red grouper was cited for possession of undersized red grouper and warned for possession of undersized mangrove snapper and not having a valid saltwater fishing license.

POLK COUNTY

Officer Carter and Lieutenant McCorkle were conducting boating safety and resource related patrol at night on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes. They conducted a stop on a vessel not displaying an all-around white light on Lake Shipp. During the vessel stop the operator displayed signs of impairment. The operator agreed to complete seated field sobriety tests and upon completion, the operator was arrested and cited for one count of BUI. While at the jail the operator refused to provide a breath sample.

Captain Brooks and Officer Earls were conducting boating safety and resource related patrol on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes. While assisting Polk County Sherriff’s Agricultural Deputies at the Canal Commission boat ramp, they saw a vessel maneuvering in an unusual, irregular pattern near the east Lake Shipp boat ramp. The operator of the vessel was yelling to other patrons on the boat ramp and shoreline displaying signs of impairment in his speech. Captain Brooks quickly maneuvered the patrol vessel to the boat ramp were the vessel was being loaded onto the trailer. The operator was observed getting into the driver’s seat and starting the vehicle hitched to the vessel. Officer Earls approached the vehicle to inform the operator of his property lying on the boat ramp. A strong odor of an alcoholic beverage was emitting from the vehicle’s driver compartment. Officer Earls conducted seated field sobriety tasks on the operator resulting in an arrest for boating under the influence and driving under the influence.

Officers Tyer and Livingston responded to a tip alleging someone drying an alligator hide on their front porch in Polk City. When Officers Tyer and Livingston arrived, they located the untagged alligator hide and conducted interviews. One subject stated he found it dead and denied killing the alligator. The subject was arrested and cited for one misdemeanor count of possession of alligator parts.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Zimmerman issued citations to a facility for unlawful Importation of Class I wildlife without a valid importation permit. A second citation was also issued for failing to obtain an official certificate of veterinary inspection prior to entering the state.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
BROWARD COUNTY

Officer Holcomb was on land patrol and conducted a fisheries inspection at the Hallandale Beach Bridge. During the inspection, a subject had 16 undersized mangrove snapper in his possession. The legal bag limit for mangrove snapper is 5 per harvester and they must be at least 10 inches in total length. The subject had been issued a warning less than six months prior for possession of undersized mangrove snapper. The subject was issued two citations for over bag limit and undersized mangrove snapper.

While on patrol in the Holey Land Wildlife Management Area, Officer Tarr saw a subject illegally target shooting. As he approached the target shooter, Officer Tarr also saw 2 subjects fishing directly behind the rock/dirt berm the subject was shooting in to. The subject passed by numerous signs advising that target shooting is illegal in that area. The subject was issued a criminal citation for public discharge of a firearm and issued a warning for the careless exhibition of a firearm.

Officer Grant received information that an individual was feeding and harassing burrowing owls at a park in southern Broward County. She initiated an investigation and spoke to witnesses and park personnel. She, along with Officer Brock and Investigator Corteguera conducted surveillance at the park. Through their observations, Officer Grant contacted an individual at the burrowing owls’ nests and charged him with misdemeanor violations as pertaining to feeding and harassing burrowing owls.

Officer Grant responded to a marina in Ft. Lauderdale at the request of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. The Agency had stopped a vessel returning from the Bahamas and had located queen conch onboard. Officer Grant met with the customs agent and also spoke with two individuals onboard the vessel. Officer Grant seized over 100 dead queen conch that were onboard the vessel and entered them into evidence. Officer Grant is filing this case federally with the National Marine Fisheries Service as a violation of the Lacey Act.

Officers Lopez and Ryan were on patrol in Dania Beach. They were conducting saltwater fisheries inspections along the Dania Cutoff canal. They saw one individual fishing in the canal. They conducted a resource and license inspection. The individual did not have a fishing license and had an active felony warrant out of Metro-Dade County. Officer Lopez placed the individual under arrest and transported him to the Broward County Jail.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Corteguera completed an investigation regarding the illegal possession of a conditional species. One subject was found to be in possession of an approximately five-foot Nile monitor. One misdemeanor and nine warnings were issued about the illegal possession and the Nile monitor was turned over to FWC biologists. Investigator Teems and Officer Cornell assisted on this incident.

HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Keen was on vessel patrol on the Caloosahatchee River. Contact was made with the operator of a vessel who stated they were on the way back from the Bahamas. Once he was done with the boating safety inspection, Officer Keen asked to see their catch from the trip. A fisheries inspection revealed that queen conch was aboard. The subject was issued a notice to appear for possession of queen conch.

MARTIN COUNTY

While conducting water patrol Officers Morrow, Pecko, and Brodbeck saw a vessel underway with eleven persons onboard. The number of passengers appeared to be over vessel capacity and a small child without a PFD was present. Upon contacting the vessel operator, Officer Morrow saw that the subject was speaking with slurred speech, had bloodshot eyes and had difficulty spelling his name. Officer Morrow conducted a BUI investigation and arrested the subject for BUI. The subject was transported to the Martin County Jail. The subject was cited for BUI and refusal to submit to a breath test. An additional charge of BUI with person under 18 years of age onboard is pending.

Officers Hudson, Carroll, and Brevik were on patrol near the Jensen Causeway when they saw two jet-skis operating recklessly. The Officers conducted a vessel stop on the two jet-skis. While the officers were conducting a safety inspection the operators showed many signs of impairment. The two operators were placed under arrest for boating under the influence and reckless operation of a vessel.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol in Jupiter when he saw two unregistered dirt bikes being operated on a public roadway by juveniles. A traffic stop was initiated to address the violation. One operator stopped, while the other fled. Officer Brodbeck told the operator who stopped to stay where he was and attempted to find the fleeing dirt bike. He returned to the first operator and upon questioning, learned the name and address of the subject that fled. Officer Brodbeck brought the compliant individual and dirt bike to the residence of the subject who fled. Jupiter Police contacted Officer Brodbeck regarding the subject that fled, indicating he had also been involved in two hit-and-run accidents earlier that day. The subject’s father agreed to call Officer Brodbeck upon the return of his son. Two days later, after hearing that the subject had returned home, Officer Brodbeck returned to the residence and issued the subject criminal citations for reckless driving and operating an unregistered motor vehicle, as well as traffic citations for running a stop sign, running a red light, and operating into oncoming traffic. Jupiter Police will be filing felony warrants for fleeing the scene of an accident with property damage.

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol when a vehicle was observed operating in a careless manner. The vehicle nearly rear-ended another during normal traffic flow along US 1. A
traffic stop was initiated to address the violation. Upon contact with the driver of the vehicle, multiple signs of impairment were detected. After completing field sobriety tasks, the subject was placed under arrest for DUI. During transport to the Palm Beach County Jail, the subject became increasingly disrespectful and hostile. While at the jail, the subject threatened Officer Brodbeck and the officer’s family. The subject provided a breath sample of 0.166, over twice the legal limit. The subject was issued a criminal traffic citation for DUI with an over 0.08, and a citation for following too closely. The subject was additionally cited for a felony for threatening a law enforcement officer.

Officers Pecko and Brodbeck were on vessel patrol when they saw a sailing catamaran with approximately 25 people on board. A vessel stop was initiated to conduct a boating safety inspection. Officer Brodbeck explained the purpose of the stop and regulatory requirements to the owner of the vessel. The owner of the vessel stated that he refused to allow a boating safety inspection. After Officer Brodbeck informed the owner of the vessel that he would be placed under arrest for interference of an FWC officer, the owner complied with the inspection request. The vessel was found to be well short of the required amount of PFD’s and the owner of the vessel was issued a Uniform Boating Citation for the violation.

Officers Hudson and Trawinski received a complaint of an individual selling fish from his house. The officers responded to the call and found an individual sitting outside his house with 4 coolers around him. The officers saw a scale, calculator, cutting board and plastic bags on top of one of the coolers. They asked the individual what he was doing, to which he responded that he was selling fish. Inside of the four coolers were 7 barracuda, 2 cubera snapper, 1 permit, 1 black grouper and 6 triggerfish. The individual stated he did not have any more fish, but upon investigation the officers found one additional cooler containing 4 barracuda. The individual was cited for over the bag limit of barracuda and selling saltwater products without a saltwater products retail license.

Officers Hudson and Trawinski received a call from the Lantana Police Department regarding a possible boating under the influence incident. The officers responded to the area and began to look for the boat. The officers saw a vessel leaving the area without navigation lights and initiated a vessel stop on the vessel. When the officers pulled next to the vessel, the occupants informed the officers that they had just been hit by another boat and were following it. The officers located the boat that had caused the accident and initiated a vessel stop. The officers investigated what caused the accident. Officer Hudson detected signs of impairment from the operator and conducted field sobriety tasks. The operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and boating under the influence with property damage.

Officer Brodbeck was on vessel patrol in the area near Palm Beach Inlet when a vessel was seen with three individuals actively fishing. A vessel stop was initiated to conduct a resource inspection. Upon contacting the three individuals, two did not have valid saltwater fishing licenses. Officer Brodbeck boarded the vessel to inspect their catch and located a large cooler on board with a variety of both regulated and unregulated species. The officer asked the owner of the vessel if there were any more fish on board and he stated there were not. A second cooler was found which contained more fish. After measuring and counting all the fish on board, a total of 42 snapper were found, including 32 undersized lane snapper and 1 undersized mutton snapper. Also found on board the vessel was a measuring tape which included pictures and size limits of the fish caught in Florida waters. The owner of the vessel received misdemeanor citations for over the daily bag limit of snapper, possession of undersized lane snapper, and possession of undersized mutton snapper. Warnings were issued for the license violations. The fish were seized for evidence.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Bingham and Officer McLeod responded to a jet ski explosion where two of the passengers received third degree burns. The officers secured the scene and had the subjects transported to the nearest trauma center for treatment.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
BROWARD COUNTY

Officer Armstrong participated in a public outreach event at the Hunt Elementary School for their summer program sponsored by the Coral Springs Police Department. Officer Armstrong talked to the kids about the FWC and brought a small alligator with him to educate the kids about alligator safety.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Officer Dunn and Officer Perez were on land patrol in Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. They saw two individuals fishing at one of the fishing piers. One individual appeared to be wet from swimming. The officers conducted a saltwater resource inspection and found their ice chest to contain 1 lobster, 3 undersized mangrove snapper and 1 undersized schoolmaster snapper. One individual claimed the lobster and fish and was cited accordingly for the resource violations. Approximately 20 minutes later, Officer Dunn and Officer Perez saw an individual pulling an ice chest and carrying a spear gun along the seawall near the light house. Upon closer inspection, the individual appeared to be wet from swimming. The officers conducted a saltwater resource inspection and found the individual to be in possession of 5 spiny lobsters, 1 Spanish lobster and 1 parrot fish. Three of the spiny lobsters were speared and one was undersized. The individual admitted to swimming along the seawall and catching all the lobsters and fish. He was cited accordingly for the resource violations.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Smith responded to a complaint regarding the illegal possession of a large Burmese python. The owner contacted FWC’s amnesty program to turn the snake over to a licensed facility, but then refused to follow through with the transfer. Investigator Smith located the individual and issued a criminal citation for the illegal possession. The snake was placed at the licensed facility that was supposed to receive it through the amnesty program. Officer Hernandez assisted on this incident.

MONROE COUNTY

Officers Rubenstein and Wagner were on water patrol with Lieutenant Payne in an unmarked vessel looking for early lobstering. While cruising the shoreline around the lower keys they saw an individual diving with no dive flag looking suspicious in an area that is known to have lobster. Lieutenant Payne dropped off Officer’s Rubenstein and Wagner on a nearby island where they watched the individual continue to work the ledge that holds lobster. The individual continued to look around and work his way over to a kayak stashed at the entrance to the area. As the subject approached the kayak he never took his hands out of the water holding something below the surface. When he got in his kayak he placed a lobster gaff and a bag into his lap and started to paddle off. Once he was in shallow water he was stopped for an inspection. The subject had 7 out of season, undersized, wrung, punctured, over the limit lobster, and no fishing licenses or stamp. He was placed under arrest and taken to Stock Island Jail.

Officer Garcia assisted USCG Islamorada with a vessel stop around Blackwater Sound. On the vessel were two adults and two teenagers. The two adults were found to be in possession of 65 gray snapper, three of them undersized, and one undersized barracuda. Both subjects were arrested and charged accordingly.

Officers Baumgartner and Conrad were on patrol around Card Sound Bridge in North Key Largo. They saw a subject actively fishing with pole in hand. Upon inspection, the subject stated he had no fish. A cooler was discovered in the subject’s vehicle and the subject gave consent to inspect. Inside were two undersized black grouper, one undersized mutton snapper, a mutton snapper not in whole condition, and an undersized yellowtail snapper. The subject was cited for the violations.

Officer Petru was on water patrol in the Whale Harbor channel and saw a large pontoon boat leave the sandbar with numerous people on board. He initiated a stop, identified the operator and conducted a boating safety inspection. Through the course of the inspection he noticed the operator appeared impaired and asked if he would perform a few tasks to make sure he was safe to operate the vessel back to the livery. The operator was arrested for BUI and refused to provide a breath sample. He was cited for operating a vessel while normal faculties are impaired and refusal to submit a breath sample and was booked into Plantation Key Jail.

Lieutenant Peters was on water patrol in an unmarked vessel wearing plain clothes south of Love Canal near Sugarloaf Key in state Atlantic Waters of Monroe County. He saw a light blue contender displaying a dive flag with two snorkelers in the water actively spearfishing. Lieutenant Peters waited until one of the subjects swam back to the vessel and he approached to conduct a marine fisheries inspection. During the inspection he found the two subjects each had shot one hogfish. He asked where the fish were and was told in the center deck hatch in front of the center console. Lieutenant Peters found 7 mahi inside the deck hatch that were not in whole condition along with two hogfish. The captain said he did not have a chance to measure the hogfish and that he was responsible for all the fish on his vessel. Lieutenant Peters measured the hogfish and showed the captain that both were clearly undersized. Lieutenant Peters measured the 7 mahi and determined 4 of them were clearly identifiable as being undersized. The captain was issued one notice to appear citation for: possession of undersized hogfish, possession of mahi not in whole condition, and possession of undersized mahi.


Officer Thompson and Investigator Mattson were on patrol near Tea Table Bridge, Islamorada when they saw an individual that was actively fishing from a kayak. They conducted a resource inspection and Investigator Mattson noticed a fish tucked under his leg. He asked to see the fish that was later identified as a mutton snapper measuring 11 inches. After further research Officer Thompson found that the individual had a history of failure to pay fines. Officer Thompson placed the individual under arrest due to him being a flight risk. He was cited for possession of undersized mutton snapper.

Officers Thompson and Petru were on routine patrol in Whale Harbor Channel, Islamorada. They noticed a boat that was in gear and pulling their anchor across the bottom with a large number of people on board. Officer Thompson conducted a safety equipment check and noticed signs of impairment from the operator. After conducting SFSTs on the operator, Officer Thompson placed him under arrest for operating a vessel while normal faculties impaired. The operator consented to give a breath sample and blew a .150 and a .151. He was also cited with operating a vessel with a BAC of .08 or higher.

Officers Trueblood and Thompson were conducting Sanctuary Preservation Area patrol near Alligator Reef SPA, Islamorada. They saw a small vessel with fishing rods in rod holders quickly pulling anchor as they approached. The officers stopped the vessel and conducted a fisheries inspection. During the inspection the officers located two undersized red grouper in a live well along with multiple other unregulated fish. The officers informed the three men onboard

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  FWC Enforcement Report June 27-July 5. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 07-30-2018, 09:50 AM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
BAY COUNTY

Officers Brady, Gore and Coker were conducting resource inspections in Grand Lagoon when they saw a vessel with nine people on board returning from fishing. The officers conducted a resource inspection of the vessel and found the individuals to be in possession of 21 red snapper. The bag limit for red snapper is two per person so they could only possess 18. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for over the bag limit of red snapper.

Officers Gerber, Hayes and Coker were conducting resource inspections of vessels returning from fishing when they saw a vessel with two people on board near the Panama City Marina in St. Andrews Bay. The officers conducted a resource inspection of the vessel and found two gray triggerfish. Gray triggerfish season is closed. The captain of the vessel took responsibility for the violation and was issued a citation.

Officers Gerber, Hayes and Coker were conducting boating safety and resource inspections in St. Andrews Bay when they saw a vessel with two people on board approaching the Hathaway Bridge. As the officers approached the vessel from the bow, they activated their emergency lights and siren to signal the driver that he needed to stop so they could conduct an inspection. The operator looked at the officers and continued for about 150 yards before he came to a stop. During the boating safety inspection of the vessel, the officers noticed that the operator was showing signs of impairment. After conducting field sobriety tests, the officers placed the operator under arrest for BUI and transported him to the Panama City Beach Field Office for a breath sample. The operator refused to provide a sample and was booked into the Bay County Jail.

Lieutenant Allen was conducting resource inspections in St. Andrews State Park of individuals fishing after hours. During one of the inspections, he found one group in possession of a 34.75-inch red drum. Officer Basford arrived to assist with the inspection. One of the individuals took responsibility for the oversized fish and Officer Basford issued him a citation for the violation.

Reserve Officer Cooper was conducting resource inspections in St. Andrews Bay of vessels returning from fishing when he saw a vessel with several people on board returning from the Gulf of Mexico. During a resource inspection of the vessel he found seven gray triggerfish in the fish box. Gray triggerfish season is closed. The captain of the vessel took responsibility for the violation and was issued a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closed season.

Reserve Officer Cooper was conducting resource inspection in St. Andrews Bay of vessels returning from fishing when he saw a vessel with one person on board returning from the Gulf of Mexico. During a resource inspection of the vessel he found three gray triggerfish in a compartment on the vessel. Each of the three gray triggerfish were less than the 15-inch minimum size requirement and the season is closed. He issued the operator of the vessel a citation for the possession of gray triggerfish during closed season and warnings for possession of undersized gray triggerfish as well as for over the bag limit.

CALHOUN COUNTY

While patrolling on the Apalachicola River, Officers Hayes and Homan checked an individual who had five striped bass. The officers saw a wet cast net and the individual admitted to catching the striped bass with the net. Charges were filed for taking freshwater game fish by an illegal method.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officers Clark, Allgood, Manning and Long teamed up in two vessels to work a saltwater fisheries enforcement detail in the Gulf of Mexico. During their patrol, they discovered two different for hire charter boats fishing in federal waters that did not have the proper licenses. A vessel captain conducting a charter fishing trip in federal waters for reef fish is required to have a federal reef fish permit. In addition, one of the charter vessels possessed two king mackerel, which requires a separate permit to possess a coastal migratory species on a for hire vessel. Three federal citations were issued for the violations.

Officer Allgood and Captain Glover were on vessel patrol in the Gulf of Mexico south of Pensacola when the officers arrived on an artificial reef where several vessels were fishing. One of the vessels in the group noticed the officers approaching and attempted to leave the area. As Officer Allgood approached the vessel, the operator spun his vessel around to attempt to conceal the left side of the vessel. Officer Allgood maneuvered his patrol vessel to the left side of the subject’s vessel and Captain Glover boarded the vessel. Captain Glover saw an amberjack laying on the deck of the boat which is currently closed for harvest. After inspection of the fish box, Captain Glover found another undersized amberjack on board the vessel. The operator was issued two federal citations for amberjack out of season and not landing fish in whole condition.

Officer Long was on vessel patrol and stopped a vessel for violating the wake zone near Galvez Landing. After a boating safety inspection, Officer Long noticed several fish tails protruding from the cooler on the vessel. A fisheries inspection revealed that the operator was in possession of five king mackerel, two over the daily bag limit. The operator was issued a citation for over the bag limit of king mackerel and violation of the idle speed zone.

JACKSON COUNTY

Officers Forehand and Scott were conducting boating safety vessel patrols on Merritts Mill Pond. As they neared one of the boat ramps, a vessel pulled alongside them and the operator asked if they would like to race. The officers noticed the operator’s speech was slurred and they smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage. The officers conducted a boating safety inspection and BUI investigation. The officers administered field sobriety tasks and based on the results and other indicators, the operator was placed under arrest for BUI. He provided a breath sample which registered .100 blood alcohol content and .101 blood alcohol content.

Officers Forehand and Scott were on vessel patrol on the Apalachicola River when they saw a person throwing a cast net. When the officers approached, the individual put down the cast net and picked up a fishing pole. The officers located several bream that were harvested with the cast net. The subject was cited for taking freshwater game fish by an illegal method.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Bartlett was on vessel patrol in the Destin Harbor conducting boating safety inspections. The officer received information from the U.S. Coast Guard regarding an ongoing vessel stop they were conducting at the Brooks Bridge. The operator of the vessel had shown signs of impairment. After arriving on scene, Officer Bartlett established communication with the operator. He saw the operator’s speech was slurred and was having a tough time understanding his questions. The operator had difficulty in completing the vessel safety inspection and performed poorly on field sobriety tasks (FST). The operator was arrested for BUI and provided two breath samples resulting in a 0.170 blood alcohol content and 0.167 blood alcohol content. The operator was transported to Okaloosa County Jail.

Officers Pifer and Jernigan were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Destin/Crab Island area. The officers saw a 24-foot vessel with four individuals on board on the southeast side of Crab Island towards the Marler Bridge drifting with the outgoing tide. They saw the vessel for several minutes as it continued to drift closer and closer to the bridge and saw the operator stumble twice. The starboard side of the vessel struck the bridge and the four individuals on board began to push the vessel away from the bridge. A vessel stop was initiated to conduct a boating safety inspection and determine if their vessel sustained any damage. Officer Pifer contacted the operator and immediately noticed his speech was slow and slurred and his eyes were glassy. The officer saw a large trash bag behind the helm full of empty beer cans. During the boating safety inspection, the operator was unsteady on his feet and was unable to locate the requested PFDs despite them laying on the deck of the vessel. After the field sobriety tasks, the operator was arrested for BUI. The operator provided two breath samples resulting in 0.178 blood alcohol content and 0.182 blood alcohol content. The operator was transported to Okaloosa County Jail.

Officers Wilkenson, Jarvis, and Corbin were on vessel patrol in Destin/Crab Island area conducting boating safety and resource inspections. The officers saw a pontoon style vessel leaving the south side of Crab Island with fishing equipment displayed. The vessel had seven subjects on board. As the officers pulled their patrol vessel alongside the pontoon, the operator was instructed to put the throttle of the vessel in neutral. The operator was slow to respond, looked in the officers’ direction and appeared dazed. Officer Jarvis conducted the boating safety and resource inspection and noticed an open can of beer next to the operator. He asked if they had been fishing and they stated no. He asked to look inside the cooler and found bottles of water and wine. The operator agreed to perform field sobriety tasks (FST). After the FSTs, the operator was arrested for BUI. The operator refused to provide a breath sample. He was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

Officer Corbin and Lieutenant Hahr were on vessel patrol in Destin/Crab Island area conducting boating safety and resource inspections. The officers saw a vessel in violation of the idle speed, no wake zone on the south side of the Destin Bridge, traveling east toward the Destin Harbor. The vessel was being operated on full plane and the officers instructed the operator to slow down. The operator ignored the officers’ instructions and after continued instruction to slow down the operator complied. In a short period of time, the operator pushed the throttle forward and continued to violate the idle speed, no wake zone again. The officers stopped the vessel to address the violation. They instructed the operator to place the vessel’s throttle in neutral. The operator looked at the officers and continued the vessel’s travel into the Destin Harbor. The operator was again instructed to place the throttle into neutral and he complied. While pulling alongside the vessel, the operator stood up and moved to a different seat. A female subject moved to the captain’s seat. When the officers addressed the idle speed, no wake violation, the operator denied he was driving the boat. Throughout the safety inspection, the operator was unsteady on his feet, losing his balance and bracing himself against objects to regain and maintain his balance. The operator performed field sobriety tasks and was arrested for BUI. The operator refused to provide a breath sample. The operator was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY


Lieutenant Hahr was on vessel patrol on the Blackwater River when he stopped a vessel to address a violation of registration numbering. The subject was operating the vessel with a woman and child on board. Lieutenant Hahr saw indicators of impairment from the operator and after field sobriety tasks, determined that the operator was impaired. The man was arrested and cited for operating a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
DUVAL COUNTY

An officer with FWC’s Resource Protection Unit followed a subject transporting salt- water products in the back of a truck across town and conducted surveillance as fish were off-loaded at a Jacksonville Beach restaurant. When two trays of fish were taken into the kitchen, the officer entered and determined that 17 African pompano were being sold by a man who had no saltwater products license or federal fishing permits. An inspection of the truck revealed another 24 African pompano and seven cobia. The man buying the fish for the restaurant admitted to being aware of the license requirements and was cited accordingly. The man selling the fish was cited for license violations and possession limit violations for the fish. Five cobia and 37 African pompano were seized.

Officer Christmas was working boating under the influence violations and encountered a vessel operator exhibiting signs of impairment. The operator had a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage on his breath, his eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech sounded slurred at times. Officer Christmas advised the subject of his rights per Miranda and requested he take field sobriety exercises. The operator agreed and based on the signs of impairment and his poor performance on the field sobriety exercises, was arrested for BUI.

Officer Wiggins and K9 Chase participated in a detail called Operation Salty Dog. The detail focused on resource violations onboard offshore vessels, boating safety violations and boating under the influence violations. Investigator Izsak, Lieutenant Bevan, Officers Shearer, Starling, Hoover, and Schirbock also participated in this event. During an inspection of an offshore dive boat, K9 Chase and Officer Wiggins located illegal red snapper fillets hidden in a plastic bag and in a dry bag onboard the vessel. The vessel operator was issued citations/warnings for failure to land reef fish in whole condition. The detail resulted in 7 resource citations, 3 resource warnings, 4 boating safety citations, and 13 boating safety warnings.

The Department of Environmental Protection contacted FWC for assistance after they were notified of an open and uncovered 30-yard roll-off dumpster full of electronic waste (e-waste) behind some Jacksonville warehouses. The dumpster was not watertight and contained cathode ray tubes (CRTs) that if not managed properly, become hazardous waste due to the lead in them. Environmental Investigators Terrones and Starling learned that an e-waste recycler was being evicted and that its owner had filled the dumpster with the e-waste as well as abandoning 47,000 pounds of it in the warehouse. The business owner had accumulated the e-waste for five years, failing to recycle any of the waste as required. An arrest warrant was obtained for improper disposal and storage of hazardous waste, a third-degree felony.

CITRUS COUNTY


Investigator Thomason and Officer Reid were working the fireworks display on Lake Henderson in Inverness. After the completion of the fireworks, the officers were patrolling the area to ensure all the vessels leaving the display were operating in a safe manner. Officer Reid spotted a pontoon boat underway with no navigational lights displayed. A vessel stop was conducted to perform a vessel safety inspection and to address the violation. The operator exhibited signs of impairment and after field sobriety tests, was arrested for boating under the influence. The operator was transported to the Citrus County Detention Center where he provided a breath sample which resulted in a blood alcohol content of .118 and .115.

Officer Reid was on water patrol in the Homosassa River when he saw a canoe that had flipped over. He helped get the canoe righted and noticed a bag containing a green leafy substance attached to one of the PFD's. Officer Reid conducted several tasks and determined that the operator was impaired. The subject was arrested and taken to jail where he provided a sample of his breath at .087. He was also cited for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

GILCHRIST COUNTY

Officers McDonald and Tyler were on water patrol on the Santa Fe River. They stopped a vessel at the US 129 bridge for violating the idle speed zone. While conducting a boating safety check and running the registration numbers, the vessel was confirmed stolen out of Lafayette County. After a brief investigation, the officers learned the boat was co-owned by the operator’s mother and was reported stolen by the co-owner’s boyfriend. No charges were filed as it was a civil matter. As the officers were preparing to leave the boat ramp they saw a man fall out of a boat onto the boat ramp. He appeared to be impaired and threw a liquor bottle into the Santa Fe River. The man was approached by Officer McDonald, became confrontational, and refused to obey commands. He was arrested for disorderly conduct, an active warrant, cited for littering and taken to the Gilchrist County Jail for processing.

SEARCH AND RESCUE

CLAY COUNTY

FWC officers and investigators assisted the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the Florida National Guard in the search for a missing army soldier on Camp Blanding. The soldier became lost during a land navigation course and disoriented in the extreme heat and terrain. The soldier apparently succumbed shortly after going missing and was found deceased after three days of searching.


NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
OSCEOLA COUNTY

Officers Stelzer, Summers and Mendelson conducted airboat patrols focusing on boating safety. During their three-day patrol effort, numerous violations were addressed. Three different vessel inspections resulted in three arrests for boating under the influence. In one of the cases, a vessel operator provided a breath alcohol sample of more than double the legal limit.

Officer McLendon was given a tip about two subjects hunting in a local wildlife management area (WMA) during the closed season. He followed a vehicle’s tire tracks down a closed road and heard the subjects shooting. He waited for the subjects to come out of the closed area and contacted them. The subjects stated that they were hunting hogs and target practicing in the WMA. Officer McLendon issued both subjects a notice to appear for hunting during closed season. The subjects were also cited for driving on a closed road and not obtaining a day use permit.

Officer Stelzer received a tip that a subject with a warrant fled from the sheriff’s office near Bull Creek Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Officer Stelzer was in the area approximately an hour later when the subject’s vehicle pulled out in front of him. He conducted a stop on the vehicle and confirmed the driver’s identity. The subject was arrested and turned over to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

BREVARD COUNTY

While on vessel patrol, Officer Dubose conducted a resource inspection on a vessel returning from offshore. During his inspection it was revealed that there were two undersized greater amberjack on board the vessel. A citation was issued for the offense.

While on patrol, Lieutenant Lightsey and Officer Matthews saw a vehicle driving recklessly. The vehicle swerved and ran off the road multiple times. A traffic stop was conducted and the operator appeared to be impaired. The operator performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was placed under arrest for driving under the influence. The operator refused to provide a breath sample and was transported to the Brevard County Jail.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

Officers Platt and Stephenson stopped to assist with a traffic accident and learned that one of the vehicles had fled the scene. A description of the vehicle was put out on the radio. Officer Marroquin saw the vehicle in Indian River County and conducted a traffic stop. The driver of the vehicle admitted to having been involved in the accident and the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) was dispatched to the scene. FWC dispatch advised the officer that the driver had a federal warrant from the U.S. Marshall Service for violation of probation for bank robbery charges and another warrant out of Orange County. The man was placed under arrest for the warrants and booked in to the Indian River County Jail awaiting extradition to Arizona. Charges are pending on the FHP investigation for hit and run.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer Haskins was on water patrol in the St. Johns River when he stopped a personal watercraft operating on plane in a slow speed zone. During the stop, Officer Haskins smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the operator and noticed signs of impairment. The operator performed standardized seated field sobriety tasks and was arrested for boating under the influence. The operator was transported to the Volusia County Branch Jail where he refused to provide a breath sample.

Officers Sapp and Edson were performing resource inspections in New Smyrna when they encountered two women in possession of several blue crabs and several whole stone crabs during the closed stone crab season. Both were issued citations for possession of stone crab during the closed season and warnings for possession of whole stone crab. The live crabs were returned to the water.

Officers Ward and Pelzel were on water patrol in the New Smyrna Beach area when they stopped a vessel for a boating safety violation. During the stop the officers detected signs of impairment from the operator. The adult operator was arrested for boating under the influence and booked into the Volusia County Jail.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CHARLOTTE COUNTY

Officer Lejarzar was on water patrol when he saw a vessel running with its lights on and then later turn them off. He could see the vessel as it neared his location running on full plane without lights on. Officer Lejarzar stopped the vessel and saw signs that the operator might be impaired. The man was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and refused to provide a breath sample at the jail.

HIGHLANDS COUNTY

Officer Smith was on water patrol on Lake June and saw a vessel approach the boat ramp to unload a passenger. The vessel operator rammed the dock causing the passengers to lose balance. Once the operator loaded his vessel, Officer Smith conducted a boating safety inspection. He noticed empty alcoholic beverages laying in the bottom of the vessel and both subjects were under the age of 21. While he was conducting a BUI investigation, Lieutenant Fugate spoke with the passenger. Lieutenant Fugate smelled the presence of cannabis on the subject and located a cigarette box containing six cannabis cigarettes. Officer Smith concluded his investigation and placed the operator under arrest for possession of alcoholic beverages under the age of 21 years old. Officer Smith placed the second subject under arrest for possession of cannabis under 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. The vessel operator was cited for possession of cannabis under 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, operation of a vessel with breath alcohol level of .02 or higher and no boater I.D card.


Captain Brooks was conducting water patrol on Lake June when he saw an individual allowing a person under 14 operate a personal watercraft. Captain Brooks conducted a boating safety inspection and found numerous violations. The owner was issued a notice to appear for allowing persons under 14 to operate a personal water craft.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on land patrol near the 78th Street Spillover, Officers Godfrey and Wilkins noticed a car running with its door open. The officers approached and saw a man passed out in the driver’s seat. The officers made several attempts to wake the subject. Once awake, they determined that the subject had been fishing. Officer Wilkins saw a pipe commonly used to smoke methamphetamine in plain view. Officer Martinez arrived to assist and after being given consent to search the vehicle, found methamphetamine and THC oil. The subject was arrested for numerous felony drug possession charges and possession of drug paraphernalia.

While on water patrol at the Courtney Campbell boat ramp, Officer Pettifer saw an individual operating a jet ski on plane in a marked idle speed zone. Upon initiating a vessel stop and boating safety inspection, he detected signs of alcohol impairment. Seated standardized field sobriety tasks were conducted and the operator was placed under arrest for operating a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired. He was transported and booked into the Hillsborough County jail where he refused to submit to a breath test.

While on water patrol at the Courtney Campbell boat ramp, Lieutenant Laskowski saw an individual operating a jet ski on plane in a marked idle speed zone. Upon conducting a vessel stop and boating safety inspection, Lieutenant Laskowski detected signs of alcohol impairment. Seated standardized field sobriety tasks were conducted. After completing the tasks, the operator was placed under arrest for operating a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired. He was transported and booked into the Hillsborough County jail where he refused to submit a breath sample.

Officer Rorer planned and led a targeted enforcement action plan directed at checking local businesses that sell saltwater products for the appropriate licenses and seafood quality control regulations. Officers Messman, Caldwell, LaRosa, Pettifer, Rivard and Lieutenant Laskowski participated in the detail. Several businesses were checked. Three businesses were cited for failure to possess valid saltwater products retail licenses. One business was cited for failure to possess a valid freshwater dealer license. One business was cited for failure to possess and display the required oyster tag with expiration date and attempting to sell oysters past their expiration date. One business was cited for failure to possess valid receipts for red snapper.

While on water patrol in downtown Tampa, Officer Wilkins stopped a vessel that didn't have its navigation lights on to conduct a boating safety inspection and address the light violation. While speaking with the operator of the vessel Officer Wilkins noticed numerous signs of impairment. The operator performed poorly on seated field sobriety tasks and was arrested and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for boating under the influence.

LEE COUNTY


Captain Carpenter, Lieutenant Spoede, and Officer Winton were on vessel patrol in the Gulf of Mexico offshore of Fort Myers Beach when they stopped a vessel to conduct a boater safety inspection. As they came alongside the vessel, the operator and sole occupant appeared to be falling asleep. Field sobriety tasks were administered and it was determined that the subject was operating a vessel while his normal faculties were impaired. As he was being transported in the patrol vessel, the subject began refusing Officer's commands and resisting officers as they guided him to his seat. At the jail the subject provided a breath sample of .095, almost 3.5 hours after the arrest. The subject was booked into the Lee County Jail for boating under the influence and resisting an officer without violence.

Lieutenant Spoede and Officer Winton were on vessel patrol in Matanzas Pass when they noticed a vessel being operated without the required navigation lights. A vessel stop was conducted, at which time the operator exhibited signs of impairment. Field sobriety tasks were administered, and it was determined that the subject was operating a vessel while his normal faculties were impaired. Multiple violations pertaining to registration and safety gear were also discovered. The subject was transported to the Lee County Jail where he refused to provide a breath sample. He was issued multiple boating citations/warnings and booked for boating under the influence.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officers Gonzales, Dalton, Davidson and Lieutenant Hinds were on water patrol around Long Boat Pass. They noticed a vessel being operated in a peculiar manner and stopped the vessel to perform a boating safety inspection. The operator appeared to be impaired and was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and taken to the Manatee County Jail.

Officer Davidson was on water patrol around Long Boat Pass. While on patrol, he performed a fisheries and boating safety inspection on a vessel coming in the pass. He found that the captain of the vessel had caught and kept one undersized red grouper. The captain was charged criminally with possession of undersized red grouper and will have to appear in court for his violation.

Officer Gonzales was on land patrol around the South Skyway Rest Area. He performed a fisheries inspection on an individual that had been wade fishing in Tampa Bay and found that the subject had caught and kept two undersized red drum. The subject was cited criminally for possession of undersized red drum and given a warning for possession of over the bag limit of red drum. The subject will have to appear in court for his violation.

Officers Gonzales, Dalton and Lieutenant Hinds were on water patrol around Long Boat Pass. They noticed a small vessel that had numerous passengers aboard and stopped the vessel to perform a boating safety inspection. During the inspection, they noticed that it appeared the operator of the vessel was under the influence of alcohol. Officer Dalton investigated to determine the operator’s level of impairment and concluded that he was under the influence of alcohol. The operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and taken to the Manatee County Jail where his blood alcohol level was determined to be over twice the legal limit.

Officers Davidson and Klobuchar were on water patrol around Long Boat Pass. They stopped a vessel to perform a boating safety inspection and noticed that it appeared the operator of the vessel was under the influence of alcohol. Officer Davidson investigated to determine the operator’s level of impairment and if the operator should be driving a boat. After the investigation, the operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and taken to the Manatee County Jail.

PASCO COUNTY

Officer Balfour was on land patrol in the Richloam Wildlife Management Area (WMA). While sitting on a closed road, a vehicle drove by and fired shots out of the passenger window in his direction. He attempted to stop the vehicle but it attempted to elude the him. After a short chase, he was able to take the individuals into custody. A search of the vehicle and persons revealed numerous firearms, ammunition, and narcotics, which were seized as evidence. The vehicle driver and one passenger were transported to Pasco County Jail for numerous felony and misdemeanor violations.

PINELLAS

While on land patrol near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Officer Martinez saw a fishing vessel with a bright white LED light shining as it operated thru the channel. Officer Martinez followed the light as they continued through the channel and as it arrived at the Maximo Boat Ramp. He contacted the vessel occupants to conduct a resource and boating safety inspection and noticed signs of impairment from the operator. The operator performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI). The subject refused to provide a sample of his breath and was booked into the Pinellas County Jail for BUI.

While on patrol near Fort Desoto, Officers Litherland and Bibeau saw an individual load up a kayak in the back of a truck. Upon initiating a resource inspection, the officers found the individual to be in possession of two undersized gag grouper and one undersized mangrove snapper. He was issued a citation for possession of undersized gag grouper and a warning for possession of undersized mangrove snapper.

While on patrol at the Fort Desoto Gulf Fishing Pier, Officer Pettifer conducted several resource inspections. He found two individuals to be in possession of 13 Spanish mackerel and 4 king fish. All the heads had been cut off the fish. The largest king fish measured 12 inches in length. The minimum length to possess king fish is 24 inches. The individuals were cited for possession of undersized king fish and failure to land king fish and Spanish mackerel in whole condition.

While on patrol near the North Skyway fishing area, Officer Pettifer saw an individual fishing from one of the relief bridges. Upon approaching the individual to conduct a resource inspection, he saw a fish wrapped in a towel on top of a cooler. The fish was identified as a red grouper and was 11 inches in length. The minimum size limit to keep red grouper is 20 inches. The individual was cited for possession of undersized red grouper.

While on patrol near the Gandy Bridge, Officer Pettifer saw individuals collecting marine life on the grass flats at low tide. A resource inspection revealed the individuals to be in possession of horseshoe crabs, stone crab claws and undersized sheepshead. The individuals were cited for possession of horseshoe crabs without a saltwater products license, possession of undersized and out of season stone crab claws and possession of undersized sheepshead.

While on land patrol in South Pinellas County, Officers Bibeau and Litherland saw four individuals actively fishing from the shoreline. After watching the subjects fish from a concealed location, the officers contacted the individuals to conduct a fisheries inspection. The officers located a small 12-inch snook. Officer Bibeau read the individuals their Miranda rights and after a short series of questions one of the subjects admitted to catching the snook. Officer Bibeau wrote the individual a misdemeanor citation for possession of an undersized and out of season snook along with a warning for not obtaining a valid snook permit.

While on land patrol in South Pinellas County, Officers Bibeau and Litherland saw an individual returning to shore in a kayak. The officers contacted the individual to conduct a fisheries inspection. The officers located two undersized gag grouper and one undersized mangrove snapper. Officer Litherland wrote the individual a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized gag grouper and a warning for the other fisheries violation.

While on water patrol near the North Skyway Relief Bridge, Officers Martinez and Bibler along with Lieutenant Rosas saw three males fishing underneath the bridge and approached to complete a resource inspection. Officer Martinez found one of the males to be in possession of 10 whole stone crabs. The crabs were out of season, undersized, and one was an egg bearing crab. The subject who possessed the illegal crab was cited accordingly for his violations.

SARASOTA COUNTY

Officers Sierra and Hudson were on water patrol around Siesta Key. While on patrol, they performed a fisheries and boating safety inspection on a vessel that was engaged in fishing activities. The officers found that one individual had caught and kept 5 undersized mangrove snapper. The subject was cited criminally for possession of undersized mangrove snapper and will have to appear in court for his violation.

Officers Ridgway and Grenz were on water patrol around the Black Burn Point Bridge. They performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel transiting in the bay. During the inspection, the captain of the vessel appeared that he may be under the influence of alcohol. Officer Grenz investigated to determine if the captain was impaired and at that conclusion of his investigation, the captain was placed under arrest. He was taken to Sarasota County Jail for boating under the influence and will have to appear in court for his violation.

Officers Ridgway and Grenz were on water patrol around the Black Burn Point. They performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel that was violating a Manatee Speed Zone. During the inspection, the captain of the vessel appeared that he may be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Officer Ridgway investigated to determine if the captain was impaired. At that conclusion of his investigation, the captain was placed under arrest. He was taken to Sarasota County Jail for boating under the influence and will have to appear in court for his violation.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
PINELLAS COUNTY

Officers Bibeau and Litherland were on land patrol when they received a call about three subjects in distress near Ft DeSoto. The two adults and four-year-old child had been kayaking at the Ft DeSoto Park when they suddenly found themselves in a bad thunderstorm. The subjects became lost as well as frightened due to the lightning and worsening conditions. The officers, along with Pinellas County Sherriff's Office and Fire/Rescue located the subjects hidden in the mangroves. Officer Bibeau made his way to the subjects and carried out the four-year-old girl and kayak to safety.


SOUTH REGION A
CASES
BROWARD COUNTY

Officers Brock and Fuller while on water patrol encountered a livery (rental) violation for renting PWC’s to underage individuals without boater ID cards. The livery operator was issued a citation.

Officer Grant was on water patrol just outside Port Everglades and conducted a resource inspection on two individuals spear fishing off kayaks. She found them in possession of undersized hogfish and mutton snapper. One of the two had an expired saltwater fishing license. Both were issued citations.

Officer Vacin conducted a resource inspection on two charter boats and found one with an expired license. Both vessels were cited for MSD (marine sanitation device) violations; open valves. Both captains were issued citations.

Officers Leathers and Seldomridge were on water patrol when they encountered a boater attempting to maneuver a small power boat onto a trailer at the Mizel Johnson State Park boat ramp. Upon closer investigation, they determined that the individual was under the influence. He was cited for BUI and transported to jail.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Corteguera responded to an animal welfare complaint. After the investigation, one subject was cited with nine criminal charges for failure to allow an inspection, wildlife being kept at an unlicensed location, and other related violations. One raccoon and two foxes were placed at a licensed facility with proper caging. Officer Grant assisted on this incident.

MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Carroll was conducting water patrol around the Stuart Causeway when he saw a personal watercraft on plane in a slow speed zone. He conducted a vessel stop on the vessel and identified the operator. He determined the subject to be impaired and arrested the operator and booked him into the Martin County Jail for boating under the influence and refusal to submit to a lawful test of his breath.

Officers Brevik, Carroll and Hudson were conducting water patrol around the Jensen Beach Causeway. They saw two personal watercraft operating in a reckless manner inside a manatee slow speed zone. The officers saw both vessels operating at high speed close to each other and jumping each other’s wakes. They also saw both vessels head straight towards each other and turn at the last second to splash each other. The officers conducted a vessel stop to address the violations. After personal contact and investigation, both operators were found to be operating under the influence of alcohol. Both operators were arrested and booked into the Martin County Jail.

Officer Carroll was conducting water patrol around the Manatee Pocket and Sandsprit Park. He saw a vessel with no all-around navigational light pass by the boat ramp. The operator of the vessel turned around and came back to the dock and tied up right next to Officer Carroll’s patrol vessel to inform the officer that he was aware the light was not present. During the encounter, the operator exhibited signs of impairment. Officer Carroll conducted a boating under the influence investigation and found the operator to be impaired. Officer Carroll placed the subject under arrest and processed him into the Martin County Jail for boating under the influence.

Officer Moss was on patrol when he received a call from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. They advised that one of their deputies had stopped a vehicle and found a snook in the trunk of a car. After Officer Moss arrived on scene, he confirmed there was a snook in a bucket of ice in the trunk. The subject advised that he had caught it at Rocky Point with hook and line. The subject received a citation for taking snook out of season.

While conducting water patrol, Officers Morrow and Pecko saw a vessel underway with no name, hailing port, decal, or registration. Upon contacting the vessel owner and operator, Officer Morrow saw that the subject was speaking with slurred speech and had glassy, bloodshot eyes. He conducted a BUI investigation, at which time the subject was placed under arrest for BUI. The subject was transported to the Martin County Jail.

While on patrol, Captive Wildlife Investigator Toby saw a zebra inside of a fenced property and noticed the fence was not sufficient height. During the inspection a large variety of animals were inventoried on the property. Sixteen violations were documented at the facility, mainly consisting of caging violations. Three misdemeanor citations and thirteen warnings were issued. The owner was given 30 days to bring all violations into compliance. Officer Krasco assisted on this incident.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Langley and Mann were on vessel patrol near the Palm Beach Inlet when the Coast Guard alerted them of a vessel returning from the Bahamas with queen conch and skinless grouper fillets. It is illegal to possess both in Florida waters. Officers Langley and Mann stopped the vessel and conducted a fisheries inspection. Skinless snapper and grouper fillets as well as queen conch were found aboard the vessel. The captain of the vessel was cited for the violations.

Officer Norbrothen received information from the Jupiter Police Department (JPD) about a vessel that had struck a channel marker in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW). The collision broke the marker and created a hazard to safe navigation of the ICW. The JPD marine unit was behind the vessel that hit the marker and maintained surveillance of the vessel until FWC’s arrival. The subject onboard the suspected striking vessel was interviewed and issued the appropriate citation for violation of a United States Coast Guard navigation rules. Notifications were made to repair the broken channel marker.

Officers Boyd, Trawinski and Defeo were on water patrol in the intracoastal waterway during Operation Dry Water when they stopped a vessel to perform an inspection. The captain of the vessel was in possession of filleted mahi. It is required by law to bring harvested fish to land in whole condition. The captain also failed to carry enough personal flotation devices (PFDs) for each person aboard, which is required by law. The captain received citations for the violations.

Officers Spradling and Godward were on patrol when the USCG contacted FWC dispatch for assistance. Officers Spradling and Godward arrived at the Rivera Beach Marina to find USCG tied up to a center console vessel with 3 occupants onboard. USCG advised the operator almost steered his vessel and occupants straight into a moving cruise ship. Officers Spradling and Godward noticed the operator had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from him and had blood shot, glossy eyes. Officer Spradling had the operator preform seated field sobriety tasks. The operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence (BUI) and booked into Palm Beach County Jail.

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol at Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach conducting resource and license inspections. Multiple individuals were actively fishing from the Blue Heron Bridge. As Officer Brodbeck approached on foot, one subject turned away from the officer and reached into a bucket. The officer gave loud verbal commands to not throw any fish. The subject pulled a fish from the bucket identifiable as an undersized mangrove snapper. Officer Brodbeck again gave loud verbal commands to not throw the fish into the water. The subject threw the fish into the water. As Officer Brodbeck detained the subject for the violation, a second subject who was actively fishing began to walk away. The officer instructed the subject to stop. The subject looked at the officer and continued to walk away. Officer Brodbeck again gave loud commands to stop. The subject looked back at the officer and continued to walk away. The officer sat the first subject on the ground and began to walk after the second subject, at which point the subject took off running. Officer Brodbeck quickly caught up to and detained the second subject. After questioning, both subjects were issued misdemeanor citations for Interference/Obstruction of an FWC Officer.

Officer Brodbeck was on vessel patrol in Jupiter Inlet when he saw a vessel return from offshore with fishing equipment in plain view. A vessel stop was initiated to conduct a resource inspection. Officer Brodbeck asked the vessel operator if any fish were on board the vessel, to which he replied “no.” During an inspection of a cooler on the vessel, the officer located a clear bag with two mutton snapper fillets. Officer Brodbeck issued the operator a misdemeanor resource citation for reef fish not landed in whole condition. The fillets were photographed and seized for evidence.

Officer Brodbeck and Lieutenant Russo were on patrol offshore of Jupiter when a vessel was noticed with no registration numbers displayed. Officer Brodbeck boarded the vessel and while speaking with the operator, detected signs of impairment. The operator agreed to perform seated field sobriety tasks and performed poorly. Officer Brodbeck placed the subject under arrest and transported him to the Palm Beach County Jail. While at the jail, the subject provided breath samples of 0.188 and 0.189 BAC. The subject was cited for BUI.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Trawinski responded to a call for service in Riviera Beach. Riviera Beach Police Department requested an officer to catch an alligator that was walking around Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Upon arrival, Officer Trawinski quickly took possession of the approximately 4-foot alligator and relocated it.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

While conducting resource inspections late at night at Phil Foster Park, Officers Loach and Brodbeck were contacted by an individual who stated that his son and son’s friend were approximately 6 hours late returning from a kayak fishing trip to Peanut Island. After collecting information and descriptions of the teenagers and kayaks, the officers contacted USCG and PBSO to assist. Officers Loach and Brodbeck began a search by vessel of Peanut Island while Officer Carroll arrived at Phil Foster to stay in contact with the families. After approximately 2 hours, the teenagers were found in good health and reunited with their families.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Officers Saavedra and Cosculluela saw a center console vessel displaying fishing gear. A fishery inspection revealed the subject to be in possession of 20 fish fillets which were believed to be mahi. The evidence in this case was photographed and returned to water.

Investigator Almagro and Officer Washington were on water patrol in Biscayne Bay near Miami Beach. They saw a jet ski making rapid and aggressive tight turns while circling an 18-foot vessel occupied by eight persons onboard and one person on a floating tube. He was on full plane in very close proximity to the individual lying on the tube. The operator was stopped. Except for the life jacket, none of the minimum safety equipment as required by federal law was on the vessel and the operator did not have his required boating education ID card in his possession. The subject was arrested for operating a PWC recklessly. He was cited accordingly for the safety equipment violations.

Officers Delgado, Saavedra and Dominguez were on patrol around Haulover Inlet. They conducted a fisheries inspection on a white catamaran vessel. The inspection revealed 2 undersized hogfish. The captain was cited accordingly.

Officers Delgado, Saavedra and Dominguez were on patrol in the area 3 miles east of Cape Florida. They conducted a fisheries inspection on a white walk-around vessel. The inspection revealed 1 undersized hogfish, 1 undersized yellowtail snapper and 3 dead parrotfish which were all over the 12-inch legal limit. The captain of the vessel was cited accordingly.

Officers Sarmiento and Dominguez were on water patrol in a marked vessel in the area 1/2 a mile north of Government Cut. They conducted a fisheries inspection on a white center console vessel. The captain was in possession of a headless Atlantic sharp nose shark, 3 gray snapper and a mutton snapper. The captain was cited accordingly.

Officers Almagro, Gomez and Dominguez were on water patrol in a marked vessel in the area 4 miles east of Soldiers Key. They conducted a fisheries inspection on a white center console vessel. The inspection revealed 3 males to be in possession of 39 total snapper. The bag was a mixture of yellowtail, gray and mutton snapper. The captain of the vessel was cited for over the aggregate bag limit of snapper.

Officers Sample and Perez were checking boats returning to Crandon Park Boat Ramp for resource and safety inspections. One boat made multiple attempts to approach the dock, making hard accelerations in forward and reverse with other boats nearby. Upon inspection, the operator displayed numerous signs of impairment. Standardized field sobriety tasks determined the subject’s normal faculties were impaired. The subject was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and provided a breath sample of .113. He was transported and booked into Turner Guilford Knight Jail.

Officers Sample and Perez conducted resource inspections on several boats returning from fishing. Six of the boats they checked had undersized mahi, and 1 boat was over the bag limit of great barracuda. In total, they confiscated 29 undersized mahi and issued 7 misdemeanor citations. The mahi were returned to the water and the subjects were educated on proper fishing regulations.

MONROE COUNTY

Officer Mobley and Investigator Williams were on plain clothes patrol on unmarked jet skis in the Middle Keys. They saw four subjects exit the water. One man had a spear gun and another had a white bucket. As they approached and identified themselves as law enforcement officers, the two male subjects dumped the white bucket into a blue cooler. They contacted the subjects and after searching the cooler they found 8 out of season lobster of which 6 were undersized, two wrung tails, one speared lobster and two undersized mangrove snapper. After Miranda and interviews, two of the subjects admitted to fishing from the shoreline, lobstering out of season with no device, spearing the lobster and stated they found the two wrung tails. The two subjects were placed under arrest and transported to Plantation Key Detention facility.

Lieutenant Peters was patrolling in an unmarked vessel wearing plain clothes when he conducted a resource inspection on two subjects south of Johnston Key. A resource inspection revealed one undersized mangrove snapper and 13 undersized yellowtail snapper. In total the subject was found to be in possession of: 18 total snapper, 8 over the one day aggregate bag limit, 13 undersized yellowtail snapper, and 1 undersized mangrove snapper. He was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Wagner was on plain clothes patrol in the lower keys when he saw a snorkeler without a dive flag on the shoreline under a bridge. The man came out of the water with a spear gun and a mesh bag. Officer Wagner approached the man, displayed his badge, and announced himself as law enforcement. The man immediately went to hide the mesh bag. Officer Wagner asked for the bag and the man said he found it and it wasn’t his. The bag had one wrung lobster tail and a knife in it. After reading the man his Miranda rights he admitted to harvesting the lobster by stabbing it with a knife, separating the tail from the body and putting it in the bag. Dispatch advised Officer Wagner that the man had an out of state warrant. The man was placed under arrest and transported to the Stock Island Jail by Lieutenant Payne. He was cited for wrung lobster, lobster out of season, and harvesting lobster by illegal method.

Officers Powell and Garrison were on water patrol on the bayside of Indian Key Fill when they saw a male and female in the water. As they approached the individuals Officer Powel could see the female was holding a spiny lobster and that the male did not have a snorkel on his mask. Officer Powell got the attention of both individuals and asked to see their hands. Officer Powell noticed that the male let go of a spear gun and plastic bag before bringing his hands out of the water. Officer Powell instructed the individual to give him the plastic bag, containing an additional spiny lobster, and spear gun. The male told Officer Powell that he speared both lobster and did not measure them. Upon inspection of the lobster, they showed obvious signs of being speared and were undersized. The male was cited for spear fishing in the upper Keys, harvesting lobster out of season, harvesting lobster without a measuring device, harvesting lobster by illegal method, and possession of undersized lobster. He was also issued citations for no saltwater fishing license and no lobster stamp. The female was issued a citation for no dive flag.

Officers Piekenbrock and Wagner were on water patrol in the lower Keys when they saw an individual fishing along the shoreline by a bridge. Officer Piekenbrock was put onshore to conduct a resource inspection. Officer Piekenbrock inspected a nearby cooler and found nothing. He noticed a yellow duffle bag with clothing on top and fishing gear next to it. Upon inspection of the bag he found many undersized snapper. The man stated that the clothing and fishing gear were his but the bag of fish belonged to his friends who were at the store. Officer Piekenbrock asked the man if he could see inside his vehicle. An inspection of a cooler in the bed of his truck revealed more snapper violations. Two other individuals came from under the bridge and admitted to catching all the fish. In total, the two men had 51 mangrove snapper (of which 42 were undersized), three schoolmaster snapper (of which two were undersized), one undersized mutton snapper, one undersized dog snapper, and one lane snapper. Both men were placed under arrest and transported to the Stock Island Jail.

Officers Alvarez and Garrison were on patrol near Quay Boat Ramp when they saw 3 individuals sticking a net and fishing pole in the shallow water. Officer Alvarez saw the individuals catch 3 spiny lobster and place them in a nearby cooler. Officer Alvarez approached the individuals and upon questioning, all 3 individuals admitted to harvesting the lobster. An inspection of the cooler reveled 7 undersized spiny lobster. A search of showed one of the individuals had an active warrant out of Manatee County. He was placed under arrest and the other two individuals were cited accordingly.

Officers Piekenbrock and Wagner were on land patrol when they received a tip of a man catching undersized fish in Key West. The officers located the individual and a bucket containing two undersized mutton snapper and one undersized hogfish. The man admitted that the bucket was his and appropriate citations were issued.

Officer Wagner was on water patrol in the lower Keys when he saw a vessel with a man spearfishing in the water. As he approached to conduct a resource inspection the man saw the patrol vessel and said something to a woman on their boat. The woman immediately went into the cooler on the front of the boat and tossed a fish in the water. Officer Wagner asked the man to retrieve the fish which was an undersized hogfish. The man claimed he was the only person spearfishing and was issued a citation for the undersized hogfish.

COLLIER COUNTY

While conducting water patrol, Officers Plussa and Stearns saw a vessel collide with mangroves as it approached a busy boat ramp. A safety inspection revealed the operator was impaired. He was arrested for BUI.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
MONROE COUNTY

As part of the National “Operation Dry Water” Boating Under the Influence Campaign Investigator Williams and Officer Mobley were on water patrol oceanside of Whale Harbor. They saw a vessel with the engine trimmed all the way up and the operator start the engine and put it in gear. Once alongside the vessel they saw signs of impairment from the operator. The operator consented to seated field sobriety tasks and was arrested for operating a vessel while normal faculties impaired. The subject was booked in to Plantation Key Jail and refused to provide a breath sample.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MONROE COUNTY

Officer Dube and Mr. Delgado from FWC’s FWRI lab in Marathon gave multiple presentations to approximately 100 campers from the Founders Park Summer Camp Program in Islamorada. Mr. Delgado brought for display queen conch, horse conch and lobster. The campers were given a chance to touch and feel all these animals after Mr. Delgado taught them common knowledge facts. Officer Dube gave the campers the do’s and don’ts on these animals and the laws and regulations protecting them. Officer Dube gave them a pledge for all of them to be good stewards of their oceans and reefs to help protect their future.

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  FWC Enforcement Report June 22-28. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 07-13-2018, 12:45 PM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
BAY COUNTY

While returning from a recreational fishing trip out of Mexico Beach, Lieutenant Wass de Czege saw six individuals with numerous fish laid out on the fuel dock at the Mexico Beach Marina. Seven of the fish were triggerfish for which the season is currently closed. Lieutenant Wass de Czege contacted local Officer McMillion and asked him to come handle the violations. When Officer McMillion arrived, he interviewed the six individuals. The captain of the vessel took responsibility for the fish and received a citation for the violation. The fish were seized and donated to a local charity.

ESCAMBIA

Officer Land received a complaint regarding a Facebook post with photos of stone crab claws. Stone crab season is closed May 16 – October 14 each year. Officer Land contacted the individual who posted the photo of the stone crab claws. The individual admitted to harvesting the crabs during the closed season. The appropriate action was taken for the violation.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officer Travis was on patrol near the John Gorrie Bridge and saw several subjects returning from fishing to their vehicles. Officer Travis conducted a resource inspection and found the subjects were in possession of eight undersized seatrout and one undersized bull shark. The fish were seized and two subjects were cited.

LEON COUNTY

While on patrol in the Highway 20 Tract of the Talquin State Forest, Officer Wilcox and Lieutenant Wass de Czege contacted two individuals who were driving through the area. During the encounter, the officers saw a small bag of white crystals fall out of a mask the male driver had in his hand. Further investigation revealed a larger bag of white crystals, a loaded syringe, and drug paraphernalia consisting of an empty syringe and two syringe caps with cotton in them – all in the possession of the female passenger. All items tested positive for methamphetamine and the two individuals were booked into the Leon County Detention Facility.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officers Pifer, Matechik, and Jarvis were on vessel patrol when they stopped a vessel in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone near Crab Island. During the vessel stop, the operator showed signs of impairment and admitted to consuming several alcoholic beverages. Officer Pifer administered standardized field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the field sobriety tasks, Officer Pifer placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.169 blood alcohol content and 0.173 blood alcohol content. The operator was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail where the intake process was completed.

Officers Bartlett and Pifer were on vessel patrol in the Crab Island area and saw a 25- foot pontoon boat in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. The officers stopped the vessel to address the violation. During the safety inspection, Officer Bartlett instructed the operator to locate and retrieve the required life jackets. The operator hesitated to the response and had a hard time maintaining his balance while walking around the pontoon vessel. In communication with the operator about his daily activities, Officer Bartlett saw he had slurred speech and continued to have a delayed response while answering simple questions. The operator agreed to perform field sobriety tasks (FST). The results from the FST showed indicators of impairment. The operator was arrested for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.164 blood alcohol content and 0.153 blood alcohol content. The operator was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail where the intake process was completed.

Officers Corbin and Henderson were on vessel patrol when they stopped a personal watercraft (PWC) for careless operation and violation of the idle speed/no wake zone at Crab Island. The PWC was operating without due regard for the other boating traffic and swimmers. Officer Corbin determined the PWC was a rental. The operator was unable to locate the required safety equipment for the PWC. While speaking with the operator the officer detected a strong odor of an unknown alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. Based on the operation of the PWC, operator unable to locate safety equipment and the apparent consumption of an alcoholic beverage, Officer Corbin asked the operator to perform field sobriety tasks (FST). The operator had indicators of impairment from the FST and was arrested for BUI. The operator refused to provide a breath sample. The operator was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail where the intake process was completed. This individual had two prior DUI arrest/convictions in 2015.

Officer Corbin and Henderson received information of a hit and run boating accident in Shalimar from the U.S. Coast Guard Station Destin. Information received indicated a vessel struck a neighbor’s dock and left the scene. Officer Jarvis went by land to interview the witness and obtain a sworn statement. Officers Corbin and Henderson arrived on scene by vessel. Within a short period of time, the officers began to hear a loud vessel motor being revved up nearby. They began to travel toward the sound when they saw a red navigational light on a vessel not moving. They continued to hear the vessel’s motor rev up to the point it sounded like it was going to combust and traveled toward the red navigational light. They could also smell a strong odor of burnt gasoline and oil. The officers pulled alongside the vessel and saw one single occupant/operator on the boat. Also, they saw a fresh striking mark (damage) and missing chrome trim on the port bow of the vessel. Further, numerous items in the vessel were scattered across the deck and inside the cuddy cabin. Throughout Officer Corbin’s communication with the operator the operator showed indicators of impairment. The operator refused to perform field sobriety tasks and was arrested for BUI. The operator was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail where the intake process was completed. The boating accident is still under investigation.

Officers Bartlett and Pifer were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections at Crab Island. The officers saw a double decker pontoon being operated in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. A vessel stop was conducted for a safety inspection and to address the violation. There were 13 people onboard. During Officer Bartlett’s communication with the operator he saw indicators of impairment with his speech and movement around the vessel. The operator agreed to perform field sobriety tasks (FST). The results of the FST showed indicators of impairment. The operator was arrested for BUI. The operator provided a breath sample resulting in 0.150 blood alcohol content and 0.150 blood alcohol content. The operator was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail where the intake process was completed.

Officer Pifer was on vehicle patrol conducting fisheries inspections at Marler Park. The officer saw an individual in the process of trailering his vessel. In communication with the individual the officer determined there were harvested fish on the boat. The fisheries inspection revealed an undersized red grouper, an undersized red snapper and undersized vermilion snapper. The individual was cited and issued a notice to appear citation for the undersized red grouper and written warning for undersized red snapper/vermilion snapper.

Officers Corbin and Henderson were on vessel patrol in the Destin Pass conducting boating safety and resource protection inspections. The officers saw a boat returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying rods and reels. The officers stopped the vessel and conducted a safety inspection. During the inspection, the officers determined the vessel was returning from fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed an undersized cobia. The operator was cited and issued a notice to appear citation.

WAKULLA COUNTY

Officers Hughes and Korade were on water patrol in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico south of Wakulla County when they saw a fishing vessel approximately 9.5 nautical miles offshore. They made contact and conducted a resource inspection and found them in possession of an undersized gag grouper. The subject was advised that a summary settlement would be filed against him with NOAA for the violation.

Officer Schulz was on foot patrol at the St. Marks Lighthouse when he saw several subjects wade fishing from the jetties. He met with them as they were walking back to their vehicle and conducted a resource inspection, which revealed an oversized red drum. The subject that claimed ownership of the fish was cited for possession of oversized red drum.

WALTON COUNTY

Officer Tison received a complaint of an individual killing an alligator. There were two witnesses who provided statements explaining that they had seen a man kill an alligator the previous weekend. The suspect was not personally known by the witnesses, but they had heard someone call him by his first name. A week-long investigation ensued, and through social media, the suspect’s identity was revealed. An interview of the suspect was conducted and he admitted to killing the alligator and also provided a sworn written statement stating that the witness’s accounts were true. The subject was charged for illegally killing an American alligator.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
JACKSON

On Thursday, members from the Northwest Region attended the landowners conference in Marianna held at Chipola College. Major Duval and Captain Lee gave a presentation on services provided by the Division of Law Enforcement, along with the contact information of local supervisors and officers from the area. Approximately 60 landowners from six counties in the Northwest Region attended the workshop. Lunch was provided by Farm Credit of Northwest Florida and members had the opportunity to sit with stakeholders over lunch to discuss all things FWC.

WALTON COUNTY

Officer Tison conducted a public outreach event at the First United Methodist Church of DeFuniak Springs. There were about 15 people in attendance and Officer Tison provided information on boating safety, legal updates regarding recreational saltwater fishing, and a basic overview of the daily duties of an FWC officer.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL FEDERAL WATERS

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Fincat, Officers Cushing, Clark, Canfield, Garrison and Land proactively patrolled federal waters conducting numerous offshore patrol missions. Over several days and numerous inspections, the team documented many violations highlighted by two cases of over the daily bag limit of red snapper, two cases of failure to land red snapper in whole condition, possession of undersized red drum and harvest of gray triggerfish during closed season.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow, Investigator Weis, Officers Nelson and Ramos patrolled federal waters throughout the week conducting numerous offshore patrols. The team discovered multiple violations to include two cases of over the bag limit of red snapper, two cases of undersized red snapper, two cases of using reef fish as bait, two cases of harvesting greater amberjack during closed season, harvesting gray triggerfish during closed season, undersized vermillion snapper and a charter fishing vessel operating without a valid reef fish permit and no charter permit.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers Boyd, Nelson and Richardson were on patrol in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico south of Gulf County. They received information of a commercial longline vessel fishing in a restricted area for reef fish harvest. The officers travelled 70 miles and located the vessel in the restricted area fishing. The vessel had a significant amount of reef fish aboard. The fish, gear and venue were documented and federal and state officers met the vessel at the dock the following day to further document their reef fish harvest. The fish were seized by the federal officer.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
JEFFERSON COUNTY

Lieutenant Wass de Czege participated in two summer camp events at the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center. He taught the laws portion of the subject safety course to the 15 youths in attendance. After the law presentation, he went to the fish camp area and gave a talk about boating safety to the 15 kids present.

Officer Stefanie Wilcox and Lieutenant Albert Wass de Czege participated in the 68th annual Watermelon Festival Parade in Monticello. They pulled an airboat through the parade and threw candy to awaiting children along the route. The Watermelon Festival takes place annually on the 3rd weekend in June. The weeklong event includes pageants, a car show, a rodeo, booths and several other events.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
SUWANNEE COUNTY

Officer Boone received information and located a 6-foot alligator in Branford Springs at Ivey Park that showed signs of being fed. The alligator had little fear of Officer Boone and approached him several times while working the area. Officer Boone contacted a local trapper and obtained a permit through SNAP. Officer Boone and the trapper removed the alligator from the area. Officers continue to investigate the illegal feeding of this alligator.

TAYLOR COUNTY

Taylor County officers worked a target enforcement patrol (TEA) along the Taylor County Coastline. Aviation assisted with a helicopter due to heavy weekend boating activity for the scallop season. Officers targeted boating safety, divers down device violations, and resource inspections. Officers addressed numerous boating safety and divers down device violations. Several resource cases were made to include scallop double-dipping, filleting trout at sea, and offshore reef fish violations. Five resource citations, 5 uniform boating citations and 28 written warnings were issued.

Officer Wilder was on patrol in Keaton Beach when he approached a vessel with two occupants on board actively fishing. They were found in possession of five spotted sea trout. Four of the trout were undersized and neither person had a valid fishing license. Citations were issued.

UNION/BRADFORD COUNTY

Officers Burnsed and Fanelli were working a hunting club targeting illegal deer dog running. After hearing a dog race, they located the owners of the hunting dogs. The subjects caught the dogs as they came out onto a hunting club road behind fresh deer tracks where deer had just crossed the road. The officers found where the owners had put the dogs out on fresh deer tracks on another road. Both subjects were cited for running deer during the closed season.

Lieutenant Douglas, Officers Burnsed, Fanelli, Izsak, Lee, and Bryan responded to a call for assistance regarding an escaped inmate from New River Institution. The officers provided ATV patrol, as well as foot patrol in helping with locating the escaped prisoner. The escaped prisoner was found the next day.

GILCHRIST COUNTY

Officer Sheffield received information that a subject picked a gopher tortoise up from the side of a road in Gilchrist County. Officer Sheffield contacted the subject and discovered he was in possession of a gopher tortoise. The subject was subsequently issued a notice to appear for the violation and the tortoise was returned alive to the wild.


NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
BREVARD COUNTY

Officers Eller and Hallsten were on federal water patrol outside of Port Canaveral. While offshore, they approached a vessel being operated in an unusual manner. As the officers got closer they noticed one male and two females onboard along with an assortment of dive and spear fishing gear. When the occupants noticed the officers, the male signaled something to one of the females and she threw a towel over a large fish box on the bow and sat on it. Officer Eller boarded the vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection and he asked the captain if they had any fish onboard the vessel. The captain pointed to three mangrove snapper lying on the back deck of the vessel and insisted that was all they had. When Officer Eller asked if there were any fish in the fish box on the bow both female occupants immediately turned and stared at the captain in silence. The captain was extremely hesitant to answer. Officer Eller eventually lifted the lid of the fish box and discovered a very large spiny lobster. Officer Eller continued to search through the fish box and at the bottom, underneath all the bags of ice he also retrieved two red snapper. Both species are out of season during this time of year. The captain of the vessel was charged accordingly.

Officers Eller and Hallsten were making their way back to Port Canaveral after working offshore. As they approached Port Canaveral, both officers identified a vessel full of fishing equipment moving extremely slowly back to port. Noticing that the vessel did not have any lines in the water, this behavior appeared out of the ordinary. A salt water fisheries inspection of the vessel revealed an undersized cobia onboard. It is illegal to land or possess a cobia in Florida waters less than 33 inches. The subjects were interviewed and the individual who caught the fish was identified. He was cited accordingly.

Officer Eller was on his way to Port Canaveral to go on water patrol when a pickup truck on Interstate 95 swerved multiple times to either side of its lane of travel. Officer Eller saw the truck swerve to its left going over the alert strips and then again back to its right, crossing three lanes of traffic and sending the other unsuspecting vehicles into Officer Eller’s direction. As the pickup truck made it into the far-right lane it merged into another vehicle causing it to be sent off the roadway and into the grass. Officer Eller immediately conducted a traffic stop. Upon stopping the vehicle, the occupant began throwing empty beer cans out the passenger window. The occupant displayed several cues of heavy intoxication and performed poorly on standard field sobriety exercises. He was arrested and cited for driving under the influence (DUI) and numerous traffic violations.

Officer Hallsten was conducting patrols within Port Canaveral when he conducted a fisheries inspection on a commercial fishing vessel returning to the port. He discovered 16 sharks that had their fins removed prior to being landed. He was able to ascertain that the sharks were taken lawfully and the remains of the sharks were also on board. Citations were issued accordingly for failure to land in whole condition.

Officers Balgo and Humphrey received a complaint about an individual in possession of alligator at a residence. After a short interview with the man, he admitted to having the alligator. The man further stated he caught the alligator and then transported it to his residence. The alligator was removed and relocated. The subject was issued a citation for possession of American alligator.

Officers Dubose and Matthews conducted surveillance on a group of men fishing at Sebastian Inlet State Park late at night. They saw fish being taken, bagged, and placed into the rocks. While Officer Dubose approached the men to conduct a resource inspection, Officer Matthews stayed concealed to observe them. After being alerted to Officer Dubose’s presence, one of the men threw two bags into the Sebastian Inlet. Other bags next to the men were recovered and revealed two snook taken out of season. After speaking with the men and issuing them citations for the take of snook out of season, the four men refused to sign their citations. All four were then placed under arrest for the take of snook out of season, refusal to allow inspection, and refusal to sign their citations.

LAKE COUNTY

Officers Dias and Fahnestock were patrolling the Ocala National Forest when they saw three subjects riding ATVs on a closed road. They conducted a stop and a subsequent consensual search of the subjects. The search revealed less than 20 grams of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The subjects were cited appropriately for the violations.

ORANGE COUNTY

Officers Teal and Fahnestock were conducting resource inspections at John’s Lake where they encountered a man fishing. A resource inspection of the subject’s cooler revealed four black bass over the 16-inch maximum size limit. The subject was cited appropriately and the oversized fish were returned to the water.

MARION COUNTY

Officers conducted proactive bear patrols in neighborhoods that generate a high volume of calls for service. The officers were passing out information pertaining to living with bears and checking for compliance of securing attractants in a neighborhood in the south end of the county. Officers Rice and Fahnestock were approaching a house to contact the residents when they saw a car in the yard that was running and had an occupant in the driver seat. When the officers approached the vehicle, the occupant exited the car. The officers could smell a strong odor of cannabis coming from the vehicle when the driver got out. A search of the vehicle revealed a plastic bag with cannabis and crack cocaine that was packaged in ten individual small bags. The subject was arrested and booked into the jail for possession of cannabis under 20 grams and possession of cocaine with the intent to sell.

While on water patrol on Lake Weir, Officers Rice and Fahnestock stopped a vessel for a safety inspection. The vessel had nine persons on board and was not displaying a boating safety decal. During the stop, the officers detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the operator and saw signs of impairment. Officer Fahnestock administered field sobriety tasks and determined that the operator’s normal faculties were impaired. The operator was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and transported to the Marion County Jail. At the jail, the subject refused to provide a breath sample.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officers Goodreau and Malicoat were on water patrol in Oak Hill conducting resource inspections of recreational and commercial fishing activities. One adult male was issued a criminal notice to appear for possession of under the legal-size limit of spotted seatrout. Another adult male was issued a criminal notice to appear for possession of egg bearing blue crabs. Other violations consisted of restricted speed zones violations, improperly marked recreational blue crab traps and possession of out of season stone crabs.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
VOLUSIA COUNTY

Northeast Region officers responded to assist with a search and rescue in Tiger Bay State Forest when a female called 911 and reported her vehicle had become stuck and she was lost in the forest. FWC patrol officers, the Northeast Region Special Operations Group (NESOG) team and K9 units assisted the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office and the Volusia County Fire Department in the four-day search. The subject was found alive and taken to a local hospital for evaluation.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
BREVARD COUNTY

Officer Hallsten conducted an outreach at a local church’s vacation bible school. He showed the school-aged kids and staff a live alligator. Topics of discussion included alligator growth rates, the harmful effects of feeding wild alligators, and how to properly interact with alligators in the wild. There were approximately 300 people in attendance.

Port Canaveral conducted its first Port Canaveral Subjects Workshop at Seafood Atlantic in the Port. FWC Biologist Hart, NOAA Officer Boots, FWC Captain Bowlin, FWC Lieutenants Bonds and Lee, and FWC Officers Eller and Hallsten facilitated the event. Local stakeholders from the fishing industry also assisted in the workshop by providing the venue, advertising, and facilitation. Over 45 stakeholders attended and engaged in the meeting. Multiple Port Canaveral issues were discussed to include state and federal law enforcement efforts, health of the fishery, licensing issues, federal rules and allocation, and best management practices. This meeting will be held quarterly at the request of the fishing industry in Port Canaveral to continue to build relationships and address hot topics and rule changes.

SOUTHWEST REGION
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on water patrol at the Port Tampa Bay spoil islands, a Critical Wildlife Area (CWA) for nesting shorebirds that is posted “No Trespassing,” Officer Wilkins saw two men walking along the spoil island and approached them to address the violation. He told them they were not allowed to be on the island and pointed out the signs designating it as a no trespassing area. The men stated they saw the signs and knew they weren’t supposed to be there, but were looking for fossils. Officer Wilkins cited both men for trespassing and escorted them off the island.

Officer Godfrey was patrolling the Alafia Banks CWA, also known as Bird Island, and saw two subjects who had entered the restricted area with their vessel. The subjects had passed numerous signs warning not to enter and entered the area which has an abundant number of nesting shorebirds. The subjects were cited accordingly for their violations.

Lieutenant Van Trees and Officer Wilkins had two jet skis stopped at the Courtney Campbell Causeway boat ramp when another boat violated the slow speed zone and waked the officer’s vessel. Lieutenant Van Trees contacted the subject, who had now docked his vessel, to address the slow speed violation and the issue of waking the officers while they had other vessels stopped. The operator of the vessel apologized for the violation and tried walking away with a beach bag in his hand. The operator was extremely nervous and kept asking to leave to retrieve his registration from his car. Lieutenant Van Trees asked the subject if he had anything illegal in his bag and if he could look inside. The operator opened the bag and quickly closed it, but Lieutenant Van Trees saw a jar of marijuana inside. Officer Wilkins conducted seated field sobriety exercises with the subject due to the subject’s behavior. The operator performed poorly and was subsequently arrested. He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for felony possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, failure to transfer title, boating under the influence and cited for refusal to submit to breath/urine/blood sample.

While on land patrol near the Hillsborough River, Officers Martinez and Litherland conducted a resource inspection on two subjects who were fishing the river bank. At the completion of the inspection, the officers found that one subject possessed an out of season soft shell turtle. The subject was cited accordingly for the violation.

Officers Martinez and Litherland were on land patrol at Bullfrog Creek when they stopped three subjects to conduct a resource inspection. The individuals stated the only fish they had were in the back of a car and showed the officers a bucket of legal fish. While the officers were checking the fish, Officer Martinez heard fish flopping around in the center part of the car. Officer Martinez found two undersized snook hidden in the car. After being read their Miranda Rights, one subject admitted to cast netting the snook. The subject was cited for possession of undersized and out of season snook and taking snook by illegal method.

While on patrol at Williams Park Boat Ramp, Officer Rorer saw a vessel approach the docks. The operator of the vessel appeared to see Officer Rorer and switched vessel operation with one of the other occupants. At the dock, Officer Rorer introduced herself as a FWC Officer and told the vessel occupants she was going to conduct a boating safety inspection. The operator advised he was dropping one of the occupants off so they could back the trailer down the ramp. Officer Rorer advised the operator they could load the vessel before she conducted the safety inspection. After they dropped one of the occupants off at the dock to back the trailer in, the vessel exited the area and headed east on the Alafia River away from the boat ramp. The individual that was dropped off got in their vehicle and left the boat ramp. FWC Officers Messman, Caldwell and Rorer searched the area by land and from a patrol vessel and located the vessel, truck and occupants at a local bar east of the boat ramp. Since the operators of the vessel and truck were not free to leave because Officer Rorer advised them she would be conducting a boating safety inspection, they were cited for interfering with the duties of a FWC Officer. The operator of the vessel admitted to leaving the boat ramp to avoid the boating safety inspection and a possible BUI investigation. He was arrested and transported to the Hillsborough County Jail.

LEE COUNTY

Officer Bell and Officer Stapleton conducted a fisheries inspection on a chartered vessel approximately 13 miles off shore of Sanibel. During the inspection, it was discovered the charter captain did not have a valid federal reef fish permit for keeping mangrove snapper. NOAA was notified and charges are pending.

Officer Winton and Lieutenant Spoede stopped a vessel violating a manatee zone. It was determined that the vessel did not have a hull identification number (HIN) and was improperly titled/registered. An investigation was conducted, at which time the officers discovered additional violations. Officer Winton recently concluded the investigation and is charging the defendant with violations relating to title fraud, operating a vessel with no HIN, purchasing a vessel without a title, improper use of a transporter license plate, and misuse of 911.

Officers Winton and Hazelwood were on late night vessel patrol in the Charlotte Harbor Buffer Preserve State Park when they discovered two subjects camping on an island, a violation of state park rules. Upon contacting the subjects, the officers noted suspicious items around the campsite and asked for consent to search the tents. The search revealed drugs including crack cocaine, marijuana, prescription drugs, and drug paraphernalia. It was also determined that the female subject had provided a false name and had an active arrest warrant out of Lee County. The subjects were arrested and booked into the Lee County Jail on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges.

Officer Winton was on land patrol in North Fort Myers late at night when a vehicle passed him with no headlights on at a high rate of speed. As the vehicle approached an intersection, it attempted to turn at approximately 45 miles per hour, causing it to spin out of control and strike a pedestrian crossing signal, throwing the signal into oncoming traffic. The vehicle attempted to leave the scene, at which time Officer Winton conducted a traffic stop. A DUI investigation revealed that the subject's normal faculties were impaired and he was placed under arrest. Officer Perry responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. The subject repeatedly disobeyed officers' commands and struggled with officers as they tried to lead him into the jail. The subject was cited for DUI, DUI property damage, and resisting an officer without violence.

Officer Winton was on marine fisheries patrol in Matlacha when he saw a fishing vessel returning to the boat ramp. Officer Winton approached the vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection, at which time the sole occupant of the vessel began throwing fish out of the boat. Officer Winton commanded the subject to stop, but he continued to throw fish into the water. The subject was detained and was found that he still possessed two undersized mangrove snapper. The subject was issued a notice to appear for possession of undersized mangrove snapper and obstructing an FWC inspection.

Officer Winton was on patrol at a boat ramp in Matlacha when he saw a vessel being loaded onto a trailer. Officer Winton noticed that the subject had difficulty loading the vessel, causing damage to both the vessel and the trailer. Once the vessel was pulled out of the water, a BUI investigation was conducted. It was determined that the subject had been operating a vessel while his normal faculties were impaired, for which he was placed under arrest. At the jail, the subject, who was under 21, refused to provide a breath sample. The subject was booked into the Lee County Jail on charges of boating under the influence.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officers Gonzales, Dalton and Lieutenant Hinds were on water patrol in the area of Long Boat Pass when they noticed a vessel operating with what appeared to be a child under the age of six not wearing a life jacket. The officers stopped the vessel to perform a boating safety inspection and confirmed the child was only five. The officers then noticed the operator of the vessel may be under the influence of alcohol. Officer Gonzales investigated further to determine the operator’s level of impairment and concluded that he was under the influence of alcohol. The operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and taken to the Manatee County Jail.

PASCO COUNTY

Officer Specialist Balfour and Lieutenant Parisoe were on water patrol in the Gulf Harbors area when they saw a person snorkeling in the water. The officers did not see a divers down device displayed, so they approached the individual to discuss the violation. During the conversation, Officer Balfour determined the individual was spear fishing the area. A resource inspection revealed the diver was in possession of numerous sheepshead. Several of the sheepshead were found to be under the legal-size limit. The diver received a citation and several warnings for the violations and the fish were seized as evidence.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on water patrol, Officers Bibeau and Martinez saw an individual actively fishing from a vessel underneath a bridge. The officers stopped the vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection. They asked the individual if he had caught any fish and he told the officers that he had caught some grunts. Officer Bibeau conducted the fisheries inspection and located 2 undersized gag grouper, 3 undersized mangrove snapper and an undersized sheepshead. Officer Bibeau issued the individual a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized gag grouper and warnings for the other fisheries violations.

While on land patrol, Officer Bibeau and Officer Litherland saw an individual actively fishing from the shoreline. The officers watched the individual fish from a concealed location and contacted him as he was preparing to leave the area. Officer Litherland conducted a fisheries inspection and located 14 mangrove snapper, 5 of which were undersized. He issued the individual a misdemeanor citation for harvesting over the daily bag limit of mangrove snapper and a warning for the other fisheries violation.

While conducting resource inspections at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Pettifer saw an individual close a cooler in the bed of a truck as he approached. The individual said he only caught some Spanish mackerel. An inspection of his cooler revealed a 14-inch undersized gag grouper in a plastic bag. The individual was cited for possession of undersized gag grouper.

Lieutenant Laskowski, Investigator Dallarosa and Officer Pettifer responded to the report of a hit and run single vessel accident with injuries in Boca Ciega Bay. Officer Pettifer located the injured victim at a local hospital based on information provided by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office. He was able to determine the address and location of the vessel and the operator. Investigator Dallarosa and Lieutenant Laskowski responded to the address and interviewed the operator and other occupant of the vessel. The operator stated he lost steering and struck a bridge. Both the operator and injured occupant were ejected from the vessel. A good Samaritan transported the injured occupant to the hospital. The operator recovered his vessel and drove it to his house and did not report the accident. He was cited for leaving the scene of an accident involving property damage and injury.

SARASOTA COUNTY

Officer Nicholas Ridgway was on water patrol in the area of the Siesta Key Bridge. He performed a fisheries inspection on a vessel that was tied to the fender system of the bridge. During the inspection, he saw signs indicating that the captain of the vessel may be under the influence of alcohol. Officer Ridgway investigated further to determine if the captain was impaired and upon the conclusion of his investigation, the captain was placed under arrest and taken to the Sarasota County Jail for boating under the influence.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
PASCO COUNTY

A multi-agency detail was completed with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office and Tarpon Springs Police Department. The agencies were targeting boating under the influence violations. During the detail, Officer Specialist Pulaski saw a vessel violate an idle speed zone. He conducted a vessel stop and noticed indicators of impairment by the operator. The subject was arrested for BUI and later provided a breath sample of .156 /.153. The joint detail resulted in two arrests for BUI, one warrant arrest, and one medical emergency response.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol when a complaint was received by FWC dispatch regarding several individuals cast-netting snook at the Jupiter Inlet. Officer Brodbeck, along with Officers Godward and Pecko responded to the area and conducted surveillance. Subjects matching the provided description were observed and contact was made when they returned to the parking area. Two undersized and out of season snook were found along with a cast net. One subject received two misdemeanor citations for possession of undersized snook and snook out of season. A second subject received a citation for no valid saltwater shoreline license. The fish were photographed for evidence and returned alive to the water.

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol at Phil Foster Park late at night conducting surveillance. The officer saw a boat with fishing equipment in plain view return to shore and drop an individual off with a large backpack. Officer Brodbeck contacted the individual as well as the vessel operator. Inside the backpack were 15 snapper of several species, including 7 undersized mutton snapper. The operator took responsibility for the undersized fish and spontaneously stated that he had an upcoming court date for the same violation. Officers Spradling and Godward arrived on scene to assist. The undersized fish were photographed and seized for evidence. The operator of the vessel was issued a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized mutton snapper.

Officer Brodbeck and Officer Stone were on patrol in the J.W. Corbett WMA when they saw a vehicle driving erratically. They stopped the vehicle to determine if the occupants had a day use pass. Open containers of alcohol were in plain view in the vehicle. During an inspection of the vehicle, Officer Stone located marijuana in two bags totaling 30 grams. Both subjects were issued misdemeanor citations for possession of marijuana and possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21. The drugs were photographed and seized for evidence.

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol in Loxahatchee when he saw a suspicious vehicle with an expired tag. When checked through law enforcement databases, the tag came back to a different vehicle. A traffic stop was initiated, but the vehicle continued another two miles down the road before stopping. Officer Brodbeck saw marijuana scattered throughout the vehicle. The driver had a revoked license with habitual status as well as 10 prior convictions for driving while license suspended or revoked. Additionally, the driver had a local warrant for failure to appear for DWLSR. During a search of the vehicle, a bag containing oxycodone pills was located. The subject was placed under arrest and transported to the Palm Beach County Jail for felony DWLSR, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, attaching tag not assigned, as well as the active warrant.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Schroer responded to a caller advising he found an injured Coopers hawk under a tree in his front yard. The hawk was active and appeared to have an injured right wing and was unable to fly away when approached. Officer Schroer retrieved the hawk and transported it to a local rehabilitation center for treatment.

Lieutenant Hankinson and the Loggerhead Marine Life Center transported a rehabilitated leatherback sea turtle offshore. The leatherback sea turtle was released back to the wild in a favorable environment.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

While on land-based water patrol near the entrance of Black Point Park, Officer Cartaya and Officer Fernandez saw a subject walking out of the park with a bucket, cooler and fishing poles. They approached the subject to conduct a saltwater fisheries inspection and discovered 4 schoolmaster snapper and 1 barracuda which were undersized. The subject was cited accordingly.

While on water patrol, Officer Blanco and Lieutenant Reynaud stopped a vessel to conduct a safety inspection. The operator had watery glassy bloodshot eyes, was drooling and spitting while he talked and had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage emitting from his breath. He was also yelling insults at the officers and behaving in a disorderly manner. The officers requested the operator to board their vessel to conduct standard field sobriety tasks (SFSTs). After conducting SFSTs, the defendant was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and disorderly intoxication. The subject unsuccessfully attempted to push Officer Blanco off the patrol vessel into the water. The subject was cited for assault on a law enforcement officer and boating under the influence. He provided two breath samples of .178 and .174.

Officer Perez and Officer Gomez were on water patrol when they saw a vessel with fishing rods actively fishing. A resource inspection revealed possession of multiple undersized mahi.

MONROE COUNTY

Investigator Mattson and Officer Rhoda were on water patrol working a BUI detail around Whale Harbor Sandbar in Islamorada. They saw a man jump off a 15-foot skiff in the congested channel. They approached the vessel to check on the welfare of the occupants who appeared extremely impaired. The operator agreed to field sobriety tests after showing signs of impairment and performed poorly. He agreed to submit to a breath sample which resulted in .139 BAC & .126 BAC. He was arrested and taken to the Plantation Key Jail.

The Interceptor team patrolled from Snake Creek to Carysfort Reef in the Upper Keys. Officers saw a large supply vessel operating very close to the reef line and marked the vessel on the radar inside of the FKNMS ATBA boundary line. The crew investigated and confirmed the vessel was being operated within the FKNMS. The captain of the vessel was contacted and informed of the violation. All required information for the ATBA violation was obtained and documented. A citation was written and the case is being turned over to NOAA.

Officers Conrad, Garcia, and Petru were patrolling around Hen and Chickens Sanctuary Preservation Area. They saw a vessel inside the SPA fishing, which is prohibited. Upon inspection, the subject was found to be in possession of 13 undersized yellowtail snapper, 1 undersized queen snapper, 3 undersized gray triggerfish, and two different species of marine life not landed alive. The subject was also found to be over the aggregate bag limit for snapper, which is 10. The defendant was cited accordingly.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Arbogast and Kleis, along with Lieutenant Sushil were patrolling Collier County’s local waterways participating in Operation Dry Water, focusing their enforcement efforts on BUI violations. While assisting the USCG with engine problems on the side of a channel, both patrol vessels’ blue lights were on to encourage passing boaters to slow down. A vessel with one male occupant onboard passed in close proximity without slowing down, producing a large enough wake to disrupt the mechanics on the USCG vessel. The officers initiated a vessel stop to conduct a boating safety inspection. During the vessel inspection the operator exhibited signs of impairment and approximately 14 empty beer cans were scattered around the vessel. Officer Arbogast administered SFSTs on the operator and placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator was booked into the Naples Jail Center and provided two breath samples of .145 and .158.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
MONROE COUNTY

Officers Richards, Foell and Way aboard FWC Offshore Patrol Vessel Trident patrolled South Atlantic federal waters from Key West to the Dry Tortugas. While on patrol, the officers conducted marine fisheries inspections and discovered violations on two commercial snapper-grouper vessels. Upon inspection, the first vessel was found to be in possession of an undersized black grouper and was using yellowtail snapper, not in whole condition, as bait. The second vessel contained approximately 700 pounds of reef fish species. Upon inspection, the vessel contained 19 mutton snapper, putting them over their three person commercial trip-limit. The product was seized, sold and all subjects were cited accordingly.

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  FWC Enforcement Report June 15-21. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 07-06-2018, 09:37 AM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
BAY COUNTY

Reserve Officer Cooper was conducting resource inspections of vessels returning from fishing in St. Andrews Bay prior to the beginning of the recreational red snapper season. During an inspection of one vessel, he found the vessel’s occupants to be in possession of undersized red snapper and undersized scamp. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for possession of red snapper during closed season and warnings for undersized red snapper and undersized scamp.

Officer McMillion was contacted by Lt. Wass de Czege, who was off duty, about individuals at the Mexico Beach Canal that were in possession of gray triggerfish during the closed season. Officer McMillion located the individuals in possession of seven gray triggerfish during the closure. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for the violation.

Officer McMillion was conducting resource inspections at the Mexico Beach Canal boat ramp when he saw a vessel with several individuals on board returning from a day of fishing. While he was conducting a resource inspection of the vessel the occupants stated that they had caught snapper and grouper. During the inspection, Officer McMillion located the snapper and grouper along with bags of ice. Once he moved the bags of ice, he located a gray triggerfish. The captain was issued a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closed season.

Officer Basford was conducting resource inspections at the Mexico Beach Canal boat ramp when he saw a vessel with five people on board returning from fishing. He conducted a resource inspection of the vessel and found the individuals to be in possession of 14 red snapper; four fish over what they could legally possess. The captain of the vessel took responsibility for the violation and was issued a citation for over the bag limit of red snapper.

Officers Brady, Rice, Alsobrooks and Scott conducted an off-shore patrol in federal waters of the Madison-Swanson. The Madison-Swanson is closed to reef fishing. During their patrol, the officers located several vessels that were actively bottom fishing. The captain of each vessel was issued a federal citation for harvesting reef fish in the closed area. Additionally, during the inspections of the vessels, one vessel was found to be in possession of gray triggerfish. The captain of this vessel was also issued a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closed season.

Reserve Officer Cooper was conducting resource inspections of vessels returning from fishing in St. Andrews Bay. During an inspection of one vessel, he located a bag containing two fish fillets. The fillets were determined to be from a gag grouper, possibly undersized. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for failure to land reef fish in whole condition.

Officer Palmer was conducting resource inspections at St. Andrews State Park boat ramp of vessels returning from fishing. During a resource inspection of one vessel, he found the occupants to be in possession of an undersized gag grouper and an undersized red snapper. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for possession of undersized gag grouper and a warning for possession of undersized red snapper.

Officer Basford and Reserve Officer Cooper responded to a single vessel boating accident in Upper Grand Lagoon on Panama City Beach. During the investigation, the officers noticed that the vessel operator was showing signs of impairment. The operator was put through standardized field sobriety tasks and placed under arrest for BUI. Once back at the Panama City Beach Field Office, the operator provided breath samples of .235 and .239 and was booked into the Bay County Jail for BUI.

Officer Basford and Reserve Officer Cooper conducted a resource inspection of a commercial charter vessel in Grand Lagoon. During the inspection they found five people on board: the captain of the vessel, a deck hand and three paying customers. While inspecting the catch, the officers found two whole gray triggerfish, four gray triggerfish fillets and seven red snapper. One of the red snapper was found to be undersized and with three paying customers they could only possess six red snapper. The captain of the vessel was issued citations for possession of gray triggerfish during closed season and possession of undersized red snapper. He was also issued warnings for failure to land gray triggerfish in whole condition and over the bag limit of red snapper.

CALHOUN COUNTY

Officers Hayes and Baber saw a vessel operating on the Apalachicola River at night without displaying navigational lights. When the vessel came to shore, the officers conducted a boating safety inspection. During the inspection, the officers noticed the operator’s speech was slurred and they smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage. Officer Hayes administered field sobriety tasks on the operator. Based on the results, the operator was placed under arrest for BUI. He refused to provide a breath sample.

Officer Baber was contacted by the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department regarding a call they received from a boater on the Apalachicola River. The caller stated they believed they saw a suspect breaking into a houseboat moored on the river. Officer Baber responded by water and located a suspect on top of one of the houseboats matching the description provided by the caller. He determined the suspect had not broken into the houseboat but was camping on top of it. The suspect was in possession of a .22 caliber rifle and a records check showed that he was a convicted felon. The suspect was cited for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and trespassing.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officers Allgood and Manning conducted offshore saltwater fisheries patrol and issued several notice to appear citations for federal and state violations. The charges include undersized red snapper, undersized gag grouper, possession of trigger fish during a closed season and possession of stone crabs during a closed season.

Officer Allgood performed a fisheries inspection on an individual fishing quota (IFQ) vessel as it returned to the dock in Pensacola to offload their catch. One of the subjects on board had a warrant for driving while his license was suspended. Officer Allgood arrested and transported the subject to the Escambia County Jail.

FEDERAL WATERS

More than 20 officers participated in targeted enforcement of reef fish violations in Gulf waters south of Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Multiple vessels from FWC’s Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) program in conjunction with aviation support checked nearly 300 subjects in state and federal waters. The enforcement effort resulted in 17 federal citations, three state citations and 19 resource warnings. Charges included undersized red snapper, undersized cobia, undersized greater amberjack, possession of gray triggerfish during closed season, undersized vermillion snapper and other reef fish species, along with charter fishing without a federal reef fish permit.

JACKSON COUNTY

Officer Burkhead saw a car stopped in the middle of the road and noticed the brake lights were on but the car never moved. He approached the driver’s window and saw the driver slumped over the steering wheel with the car in drive while the driver’s foot was on the brake. He woke the driver and put the car in park. The driver showed signs of impairment. Officer Burkhead administered field sobriety tasks on the driver and arrested him for DUI. He refused to provide a breath sample.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Investigator Molnar and Officer Corbin conducted a vessel stop at Crab Island on a personal watercraft (PWC) for a passenger not wearing a PDF. While speaking with the operator, he was showing multiple signs of impairment and the officers detected an odor of cannabis coming from the PWC. The operator admitted to consuming alcohol throughout the day and smoking cannabis about 30 minutes prior to the vessel stop. A search of the PWC revealed approximately five grams of unburnt cannabis. The operator agreed to perform field sobriety tasks. After the tasks, Investigator Molnar arrested the operator for BUI. The operator provided a breath sample of .018 and .020 blood alcohol content which was not consistent with the observations of the officers. The officers requested the operator to submit to a urine sample since drug impairment was suspected and the operator refused. He was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail for BUI with normal faculties impaired and possession of cannabis less than 20 grams. Officer Corbin issued a notice to appear citation to the passenger aboard for possession of cannabis less than 20 grams.

Officers Pifer and Long were on water patrol when they stopped a vessel in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone around Crab Island. The operator did not have identification on board and provided the officers with a name and date of birth. FWC dispatch advised they could not find a record of the individual with the information provided. The subject then provided a different middle initial and date of birth. Dispatch again advised that they could not find a record of the individual. The subject was given a final opportunity to provide his true information. He did and it was determined the subject had active warrants for his arrest in Alabama. The subject was placed under arrest and booked into the Okaloosa County Jail without incident.

Officer Corbin was on patrol when he recognized a subject operating a vehicle who had a suspended driver’s license. He confirmed the license was still suspended and conducted a traffic stop. The subject was asked to roll down his rear windows due to the dark tint and he complied. The officer then looked through the back window and saw a handgun laying on the floorboard underneath the driver’s seat. The handgun was removed and secured in the patrol vehicle. The serial number for the handgun was run through FWC dispatch, who advised the handgun was reported stolen. The subject and passenger were detained and gave consent for the vehicle to be searched. During the search, two vape pens containing THC oil and a partially smoked cannabis cigarette were located. Post Miranda, the subject admitted to knowing the handgun was stolen. Officer Corbin arrested the subject and charged him with dealing in stolen property, possession of a controlled substance, possession of cannabis less than 20 grams, and knowingly driving with a suspended license.

Officer Corbin was on patrol conducting resource inspections late at night when he saw a vessel with four subjects on board returning to the boat ramp. A resource inspection was conducted and a total of five redfish were located on the vessel, four of which were undersized. After interviewing everyone onboard, the subjects who caught the redfish were issued notice to appear citations for possession of over the bag limit and possession of undersized redfish.

Officers Corbin and Pifer were on patrol when Officer Corbin saw a derelict sailboat dragging anchor in the channel near a bridge. The officers tied off to the vessel and saw two dogs inside the vessel without food or water. The vessel was hip-towed to a nearby public dock and an attempt was made to locate the owner of the vessel. Animal control was notified and the owner of the vessel was located shortly thereafter. The owner did not have a title to the vessel but did claim ownership of it. The vessel did not have a means of propulsion, any working electrical or bilge, and was barnacle laden. Officer Corbin issued the owner of the vessel a notice to appear citation for derelict vessel stored on state waters and a uniform boating citation for interference with navigation.

Officer Corbin and Investigator Molar were on water patrol at Crab Island when they saw a vessel in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. A vessel stop was conducted and the operator exhibited signs of impairment. After conducting field sobriety tasks, Officer Corbin placed the subject under arrest for BUI. The operator was cited for operating a vessel while normal faculties impaired and violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. The subject was also assessed a civil penalty for refusing to provide a breath sample.

Officers Bartlett and Pifer were on water patrol at Crab Island when they stopped a vessel for violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. While speaking with the operator of the vessel, signs of impairment were observed and the individual was asked to perform field sobriety tasks. Upon conclusion the operator was placed under arrest for BUI. The subject provided a breath sample of 0.164 and 0.153 blood alcohol content. He was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail and cited for operating a vessel with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher and issued a boating infraction for violation of the idle speed/no wake zone.

Officers Pifer and Bartlett responded to a report of a boating accident with injuries that occurred near the East Jetties in Destin. When the officers arrived on scene they determined that two personal watercraft rented from a nearby livery collided. An occupant on one of the personal watercraft suffered a leg injury and was transported to a local hospital. A follow up at the hospital with the injured party revealed they had suffered a broken leg due to the accident. After conducting the accident investigation, Officer Pifer issued the operator of the striking vessel a citation for violation of navigation rules resulting in an accident.

Several complaints over the past few months have been received regarding human waste being deposited in state waters at a marina. Officer Wilkenson organized a targeted enforcement detail in response to the complaints. The detail focused on inspecting vessels at the marina and ensuring the vessel owners followed marina sanitation laws. The officers working the detail inspected seven vessels and contacted 15 individuals. Two citations and five written warnings were issued for various violations. The officers also educated the marina owners on marine sanitation requirements so they can inform individuals renting wet slips of the regulations to prevent future violations.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Ramos was conducting patrol in a designated shorebird nesting site in Navarre where a colony of black skimmers were nesting. Black skimmers are a species of special concern and one of several imperiled shorebird species in the area. He saw the birds become visibly disturbed and flushed from their hatchlings when a subject ducked under the ropes and entered the closed area. Although the area was roped off and posted with multiple signs, the subject ignored the barricades and went down to the seawall where she began to fish. She was issued a notice to appear citation for the violation.

FWC’s dispatch received a Wildlife Alert complaint that various waste materials were disposed of in the Yellow River Wildlife Management Area. The complaint included the license plate for the vehicle and trailer involved. Officer Ramos and Environmental Investigator Hughes located a pile of waste debris on the south side of the management area. Using the tag number in the complaint they located the suspect. During an interview with the suspect he admitted to disposing of the waste materials. Investigator Hughes issued the defendant a criminal citation for disposing of solid waste at a non-permitted location.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
DUVAL COUNTY

Officer Christmas was on patrol in Duval County when he stopped by a creek known for fishing activity. He walked under a bridge and saw a subject attempting to light something on the end of a straw as he puffed it. He walked up behind the subject and identified himself and asked the subject if he was okay. The subject indicated he was fine and was smoking dope. Officer Christmas requested the subject hand him the items he was puffing on, read him his rights per Miranda, and asked the subject what kind of dope he was smoking and the subject said it was ice. Officer Christmas requested the subject walk up to his truck and the subject stopped, reached in to his left pocket and pulled out a clear baggy containing more drugs. He handed it to Officer Christmas and the drugs tested positive as methamphetamine. Officer McGregor responded to assist by taking control of the drugs while Officer Christmas arrested and booked the subject at the Duval County Jail for possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

LEVY COUNTY

Officers worked an enforcement detail in Goethe State Forest during the second special opportunity night time dog-hog hunt. A total of 11 misdemeanor citations were issued, as well as numerous infractions and written warnings. The misdemeanor violations include nine citations for hunting prior to legal hours and two citations for hunting with a gun and light. The gun and light violations consisted of one individual using a spotlight connected to a spare battery in the back of the vehicle and another individual using a vehicle mounted light bar. Lieutenant Umhoefer, Investigator Bembry, and Officers Fox, Starling, Johnston, Hilliard, Willis, Troiano, Stanley, Drew, Ulrich, and Browning assisted during the detail.

DIXIE COUNTY

Officer Sheffield was conducting fisheries inspections near Shired Island when he saw an individual near the water’s edge. Officer Sheffield contacted the person and discovered that the subject was recreationally harvesting oysters. The individual was issued a notice to appear for harvesting oysters from a prohibited area and harvest during closed season.

CITRUS COUNTY

Officer Nate Cheshire was on patrol in the Citrus Springs area when he saw a vehicle being operated in a manner that led him to believe the operator was impaired. Officer Cheshire followed behind the vehicle and saw the operator was unable to maintain a single lane of travel. Officer Cheshire conducted a traffic stop, saw signs of impairment and requested the operator submit to field sobriety tasks. The driver refused to participate in field sobriety tasks. Officer Cheshire saw a green leafy substance inside the vehicle which the driver identified as synthetic marijuana. The driver was placed under arrest for operating a motor vehicle while impaired. The vehicle was towed at the driver’s request.

Officer Crane and Lieutenant Jones were on water patrol in the Kings Bay area of Crystal River. The officers saw a boat operating in excess of the posted manatee idle speed zone. A vessel stop was initiated and during the boarding the operator exhibited signs of impairment. Officer Crane conducted a battery of field sobriety tasks. Based on the tasks, the operator was arrested for operating a vessel while impaired. During the investigation, the officers noticed that a 3-month-old infant was on the boat and was not wearing the required PFD. The subject was transported to the Citrus County Jail where he submitted to a test of his breath. The results of such test revealed that he had a breath alcohol content of .175.

Over the weekend, Citrus County officers worked the 34th Annual Cobia Fishing Tournament on the Homosassa and Crystal Rivers. Officers Browning, Suttles, Crane, Reid and Lieutenant Jones made a total of 12 resource cases. The cases included the following:

4 undersized gag grouper cases
1 amberjack case
2 undersized hog fish cases
2 undersized cobia cases
3 undersized black drum cases
1 undersized red grouper case


TAYLOR COUNTY

Officers Wilder and Tyler were offshore on patrol targeting illegal fish violations. The officers stopped a vessel that left their anchored spot upon seeing the officers’ patrol vessel approaching. A check revealed the occupants on board had harvested numerous undersized red grouper, hogfish, gag grouper, and mangrove snapper with spear guns. The fish, all notably undersized, were seized and donated and the subjects were cited for the violations.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
CLAY COUNTY

FWC officers in Clay County partnered with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol Unit and Chick-Fil-A to reward safe boating practices. Chick-Fil-A graciously donated gift cards good for a free ice cream cone. While on water patrol, officers rewarded children and parents who were wearing life jackets with the free ice cream gift cards. This provided an opportunity for positive encounters between law enforcement and families while on the water while rewarding safe boating practices.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
COLUMBIA COUNTY

Officer Cline assisted a private group on the Santa Fe River who were engaged in a river clean up. Approximately 40 members of the group arrived at Hollingsworth boat ramp where they set out for a day of river clean up in a variety of boats. The cleanup was a success with hundreds of pounds of refuse collected up river from the US 47 bridge on the Santa Fe. Officer Cline was thanked for keeping the vessel traffic at a reasonable speed throughout the day.

DUVAL COUNTY

Investigator Holleman was conducting port investigations. He inspected the Caribbean Cold Storage and requested the bill of lading for some spiny lobster (product of Venezuela) being stored at the facility. He opened two boxes of lobster but did not have time to thaw and check for egg bearing lobster because the storage facility was about to close. The following day, he and Officer Lentz returned to Caribbean Cold Storage and inspected the lobster. There were 2.5 pallets of lobster. The individual boxes on the pallet were 10 lb. boxes. The bill of lading showed 3,590 pounds of lobster total. Officer Lentz and Investigator Holleman randomly pulled six boxes of lobster and partially thawed each lobster and thoroughly inspected them for eggs. Eleven of 46 female spiny lobster were egg bearing and/or snipped. They seized the 11 egg-bearing/snipped spiny lobster and Investigator Rodriguez is investigating the seafood company in Miami in reference to the violations.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
PUTNAM COUNTY

Officer Mason responded to a traffic stop by Putnam County Sheriff’s Office where they located a spotlight, rifle, and doe deer in a vehicle at night. The subjects stated that they accidentally hit the deer with their vehicle and used the rifle to put it down. Upon investigating the deer, it was found that the only injury was a bullet entry wound through the shoulder and an exit wound. Both subjects were cited for unlawfully harvesting a doe deer out of season.

BREVARD COUNTY

While on patrol, Officers Cybula and Delano saw people in the BC49 Critical Wildlife Area (CWA). This area is full of nesting birds this time of year. Due to the imperiled species found here, the area is clearly marked alerting the public that access is prohibited. After speaking with the people, a citation was issued for violation of the CWA.

Lieutenant Lightsey and Officer Cybula participated in a non-jury trial where a man was found guilty of violating the BC49 Critical Wildlife Area. The violator received fines totaling $371 and must perform twenty hours of community service.

While on patrol of Sebastian Inlet State Park, Officer Dubose saw four men fishing. Once the men began to leave the area, the officer approached to conduct a resource inspection. His inspection revealed one snook that was gutted and missing its head. Snook season is closed in the Atlantic from June 1st to August 31st. A citation was issued for possession of snook out of season.

Officer Matthews conducted surveillance on a group of men fishing at Sebastian Inlet State Park. The group was fishing in an area common for snook violations. After watching the men for some time, they began to pack up to leave. They walked and looked around to see if any officers were in the area and quickly loaded their vehicle. Officer Matthews approached the men who were alerted to his presence. The men reversed their vehicle and threw a bag into a wooded area. After finally getting the vehicle to stop, Officer Matthews located the bag containing two out of season snook and one over the slot size redfish. Due to the men’s history of resource violations and failure to allow inspection, all three men were arrested. Charges included two counts of possession of snook out of season, one count of possession of oversized redfish and one count each for failure to allow inspection by an FWC officer.

OSCEOLA COUNTY

Officer Summers was on water patrol on West Lake Toho when he approached a vessel to conduct a resource inspection. The officer’s inspection revealed four black bass over 16 inches in length. It is illegal to possess more than one black bass over 16 inches per person. A citation was issued for the offense.

Officer Stelzer was on water patrol on West Lake Toho when he saw a man fishing from a vessel. After conducting a resource inspection, the man was found to be in possession of 61 panfish, 11 over the legal daily bag limit. The man was issued a citation for the offense.

Officers Summers and Stelzer were on water patrol on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes when a pontoon vessel waved them over. The occupants informed the officers that one of their pontoons was taking water and the stern was beginning to list. The officers had the occupants put on their life jackets and assisted them back to the ramp safely.

Officer Stelzer was on water patrol on West Lake Toho when he saw a man in a vessel fishing. A resource inspection revealed the man was in possession of three black bass more than 16 inches in length. It is illegal to possess more than one black bass over 16 inches per person. A citation was issued for the offense.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

Officer Dubose was on patrol off Vero Beach when he saw a man diving out of a kayak. A safety and resource inspection was conducted. During the resource inspection, the man retrieved two fish from his kayak. After the officer asked if he had any more fish the subject tipped his kayak up and used his spear gun to retrieve a mutton snapper. A measurement revealed the snapper was 15.25 inches in length, well under the 18-inch minimum. A citation was issued for the offense.

While on patrol in Indian River County, Officer Dubose and Reserve Officer Riccuiti conducted resource inspections at a local bridge. One of the subjects was found to have a warrant out of Brevard County for other FWC and weapons charges. The officers placed the man under arrest and delivered him to the Indian River County jail where he awaits extradition to Brevard County.

MARION COUNTY

Officer Dias received information of a velvet buck that had been taken off Sunnyhill Conservation Area from Forest Road 8. Officer Dias responded to the area to investigate. He located a truck on the side of Forest Road 8 that matched the description of the involved party. After a short surveillance a car pulled up to the truck. Officer Dias contacted a subject at the truck who stated that he and his brother killed a hog on private land earlier that night and he was on his way to dump the gut pile when he ran out of fuel. Officer Dias kept the individual’s contact information and got the information on the subject’s brother. He also made note of the tire tread on the truck. Officer Dias went to the site where he was informed that the deer had been taken and found the matching tire sign to the suspected truck and very unique boot prints going into Sunnyhill property. He tracked the foot sign into Sunnyhill and saw a buck lying down approximately 100 yards from the end of the foot sign. As he walked toward the buck, it stood up and walked off. When Officer Dias got near where the buck had been lying he located the dead velvet buck that had a bullet wound through the front shoulder. He seized the carcass as evidence and went to the residence of the involved party, where he found boots matching the prints found in Sunnyhill, still damp and sandy from the earlier activities. After a brief interview of the suspect, he admitted to taking the buck from Forest Road 8 and surrendered the rifle used. Officer Dias filed charges with the Marion County State Attorney’s Office for taking deer at night with gun and light, shooting from a county roadway, and taking a deer from St. Johns Water Management land.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officers North and Vanas were on land patrol along Bulow Creek when they stopped to check several males on the creek bank. The subjects were in possession of a bucket containing live blue crabs but no crab fishing gear. They told the officers they had caught the crabs earlier in a different location. The officers saw another male swimming down the creek with a commercial crab trap toward their location. He made it almost to them and dropped the trap when he saw the officers. The man admitted to taking crabs from a commercial trap without permission. The commercial crabber was notified and confirmed that the man did not have his permission to be in possession of the trap. He was cited for theft/molestation of a commercial crab trap.

Lieutenant Eason was on patrol near the St. Johns River within Blue Springs State Park when he saw two adult males and two females enter a red Volkswagen and began to leave the area. Upon leaving, the driver of the vehicle accelerated quickly, spinning his wheels and fish tailing out of the parking area. Lieutenant Eason attempted to conduct a traffic stop to address the violation. While driving eastbound on French Avenue, Lieutenant Eason saw additional track marks where the vehicle drifted severely around a blind curve. As Lieutenant Eason slowed down he saw the vehicle had crashed into the shoulder of the roadway. The four subjects were out of the vehicle, staggering and looking at the damage. Lieutenant Eason activated his emergency lights and contacted the subjects. Officers Thornton and Laroche arrived on scene to assist. The driver was arrested by for reckless driving, driving without a license (never issued), operating an unregistered vehicle, and he was cited for no proof of insurance, tag attached not assigned, destruction of park property, and a lifetime trespass warning from Blue Springs State Park was issued. Additionally, Officer Thornton completed the crash report. The other male subject was cited for possession of less than twenty grams of cannabis (located in front pocket) by Officer Laroche. The vehicle, which had been traded to the driver for tattoo work that had not been completed or even started, was towed from the scene and assessed as totaled.

While on water patrol in the New Smyrna Beach area, Officer West saw an adult male have great difficulty docking his boat at a local shoreside restaurant. Officer West approached and spoke with the operator and subsequently conducted standardized seated field sobriety tasks. The operator was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and transported to the county jail.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
HARDEE COUNTY

While on night patrol, Officers Kobs and Karr spotted a vehicle driving slowly down a county road in east Hardee County. They saw a light being shined out of both side windows of the vehicle. They followed the vehicle for almost an hour as the truck turned onto many roads and shined a variety of private properties. Officer Kobs stopped the vehicle and after being read their Miranda rights, the two people in the truck admitted to shining alongside the road looking for hogs. They both admitted that if they saw a hog, they would have released the two dogs out of the back of their truck. Both men were issued a notice to appear for hunting off the roadway.

HERNANDO COUNTY

Officers Canamero and Scinta were on water patrol. They conducted a stop of a vessel that had violated a restricted speed zone. While conducting a resource inspection, the subject was found to be in possession of one undersized cobia. The subject was cited accordingly.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on water patrol near the Alafia River, Officers Wilkins and Martinez stopped a vessel to conduct a boating safety inspection. Upon contacting the operator, Officer Wilkins noticed the subject was bracing on items as to not fall, struggling to remember boating safety equipment, and was becoming argumentative. Officer Wilkins conducted field sobriety tasks with the operator and determined the subject was impaired. The subject was arrested for boating under the influence, cited for refusal to submit to test of breath/urine, and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.

Officer Wilkins was patrolling the Critical Wildlife Areas (CWA) near Port Tampa Bay that are home to numerous species of nesting shorebirds. Officer Wilkins issued one subject a notice to appear for entering a CWA after it was discovered he was camping on one of the islands. The next day Officer Wilkins contacted a charter captain who had passed numerous signs warning of the area being a no entry zone and then anchored in the CWA to fish. Both subjects will have to appear in court for their violations.

While on water patrol near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, Officer Martinez stopped a vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection and asked the men on board if they had any fish. Officer Martinez was told there was no fish on board but when he started to question about different coolers on the vessel he was told there was one mackerel in a cooler. Upon inspecting the cooler with the mackerel inside, Officer Martinez found an undersized gag grouper. The subject who caught and kept the grouper was cited for violation.

While on water patrol near Little Harbor, Officer Martinez stopped a vessel to conduct a resource and boating safety inspection. While speaking with the operator, Officer Martinez noticed signs of impairment and conducted field sobriety tasks. The operator performed poorly and was arrested for boating under the influence. The subject was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for boating under the influence and refusal to submit to a test of his breath/urine.

LEE COUNTY

Officer Furbay was on land patrol when he came across a man near a lake acting nervous and asking questions about fishing. During an inspection, Officer Furbay found a line attached to stake baited with a piece of pork. The man admitted it was his and later gave Officer Furbay permission to look in his vehicle for any fish and wildlife. While looking in the vehicle, the man covered up a sack with a jacket and claimed he did not have anything. Inside the sack was a softshell turtle. The man admitted to catching the turtle and showed Officer Furbay other lines he had set to catch them. The man was issued a misdemeanor citation for catching and keeping a softshell turtle during closed season.

Officer Winton received information about the possible destruction of burrowing owl burrows on a property in Cape Coral. Officer Winton responded to the scene and discovered that six burrows had been destroyed as the result of construction activities. An investigation was conducted and it was determined that the construction manager was aware that the burrows existed, but allowed construction to occur directly next to the burrows anyway. Six felony charges are being filed with the State Attorney’s Office.

Officers Hazelwood and Winton were on vessel patrol offshore of Sanibel when they saw a fishing vessel returning from offshore waters. The officers conducted a vessel stop and discovered eight undersized vermillion snapper and two lane snapper not in whole condition. The captain of the vessel was issued a notice to appear for possession of undersized snapper and a warning for possession of reef fish not in whole condition.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officers Dalton and Gonzales were on water patrol around Long Boat Pass near Jew Fish Key. While on patrol they stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on vessel that was transiting near the key. After the officers stopped the vessel and while going through the boating safety inspection, it appeared that the operator was under influence of alcohol. After an investigation by Officer Gonzales, the operator was arrested and taken to jail for boating under the influence.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on land based water patrol, Officer Bibeau saw a vessel return to a nearby boat ramp from offshore and contacted the vessel and the 5 occupants onboard to conduct a fisheries inspection. He located an out of season triggerfish and 12 red snapper. As he was completing his inspection, he located a separate cooler in the back of one occupant’s vehicles at the ramp. Officer Bibeau asked for permission to conduct an inspection on the cooler and was permitted to do so. He located an undersized gag grouper in the cooler. Officer Bibeau wrote the operator of the vessel a misdemeanor citation for being over the daily bag limit of red snapper along with a warning for possession of triggerfish during closed season. The other individual was written a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized gag grouper.

While on land based water patrol, Officer Bibeau contacted two individuals that were actively fishing from a bridge. He conducted a fisheries inspection and located a 14-inch gag grouper. One of the individuals admitted to catching the grouper and was issued a misdemeanor citation for possession of an undersized gag grouper.

While on water patrol, Officers Bibeau and Martinez stopped a vessel that was returning from offshore to conduct a fisheries inspection. Officer Bibeau performed the inspection and located a 14-inch red grouper and a 16-inch gag grouper. Officer Bibeau issued the operator a misdemeanor citation for possession of an undersized red grouper and a warning for the other fisheries violation.

While on land based water patrol, Officer Bibeau saw an offshore fishing vessel return to a nearby boat ramp. He contacted the vessel and the five occupants onboard to conduct a fisheries inspection. Officer Bibeau located 15 red snapper (their bag limit was 10). Officer Bibeau read the occupants their Miranda rights and one of the occupants admitted to taking the extra red snapper. The subject was cited accordingly for over the daily bag limit of red snapper.

While on land patrol in Clearwater, Lieutenant Van Trees saw four individuals fishing from the CSX railroad tracks going over Upper Tampa Bay. Lieutenant Van Trees contacted the subjects as they left the area and conducted a fisheries inspection. He discovered one of the subjects kept an undersized red drum and an undersized black drum. All the subjects were warned for trespassing and the subject with the fish was issued a notice to appear for possession of undersize red drum and a warning for the black drum violation.

POLK COUNTY

The Southwest Dive Team was requested by Polk County Sheriff’s Office to assist in locating a missing boater they believed had drowned near Lake Scott. Members of the team deployed sector scan sonar on the bottom of the lake in three separate locations. At the third location, the sector scan located an anomaly on the bottom matching the size and shape of the missing individual. The dive team directed Polk County divers to the location in low visibility who confirmed that it was the missing individual. The investigation is ongoing.

SARASOTA COUNTY

Officers Hudson, Ridgway and Grenz were on water patrol around Little Sarasota Bay. They stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel that was violating a manatee speed zone. After they stopped the vessel, it appeared to the officers that the operator was under influence of alcohol. After an investigation by Officer Hudson, the operator was arrested and taken to jail for boating under the influence.

Officers Hudson, Ridgway and Grenz were on water patrol around Lido Key. They received a complaint that someone on Lido Key Beach was catching and keeping undersized fish and placing them in cooler. The officers located the subject fishing from the beach and conducted a fisheries inspection. During the inspection, the officers discovered the subject had caught and kept one undersized and out of season snook as well as several undersized black drum. The subject also had an outstanding warrant for his arrest and was taken to jail.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
GLADES COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol at the Moore Haven locks conducting license and resource inspections. One subject fishing with a rod and reel also had a cast net and a bucket in his possession containing both gamefish and non-game native fish. No violations were found. Officer Brodbeck conducted surveillance on the individual and saw the subject throw dead non-game fish from the bucket back into the water and proceed to throw the cast net. Many fish were captured and the subject dumped them all out on land and went back to fishing with a rod and reel. Officer Brodbeck returned to the location and found many of the same native non-game fish dead on land and the subject was still fishing nearby. When asked about all the dead fish the subject stated that he was keeping them for catfish bait. When asked if he had caught any catfish the subject replied that he had not. When asked why he had thrown the dead fish from the bucket back into the water, instead of keeping them for catfish bait, the subject did not have an answer. Officer Brodbeck issued the subject a citation for wanton and willful waste of native freshwater fish.

LEE

Officer Keen was on vessel patrol on the Caloosahatchee River when he noticed a subject operating a personal watercraft (PWC). Officer Keen initiated a vessel stop to conduct a boating safety inspection. During the boating safety inspection, multiple signs of impairment were seen from the operator. The operator agreed to perform seated field sobriety tasks. After the tasks were completed the operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence (BUI). During an inventory search of the PWC,
Officer Keen discovered a small bag containing a white powdery substance which would later field test positive for cocaine. At the Lee County Jail two hours after arrest, the operator provided a breath sample of 0.137. The operator of the vessel was issued a criminal boating citation for BUI and possession of cocaine.

MARTIN COUNTY

While conducting water patrol, Officers Morrow and Pecko saw a vessel with improper navigation lights. They followed the vessel and it made a sharp turn to port in the direction of the mangroves and shallow waters. The officers conducted a vessel stop to address the violation and to check on the welfare of the occupants. Officer Morrow saw that the vessel operator had glassy, red eyes and was using fixed objects in his vessel for stability. After conducting field sobriety tasks on the operator, he was determined to be impaired and was placed under arrest for boating under the influence.

While conducting water patrol, Officers Morrow and Pecko responded as back-up to Officers McLeod and Boyd to a vessel passenger that had become belligerent and uncooperative during a vessel stop. Upon arrival, the subject who was hindering the initiating officer’s ability to complete his investigation was placed under arrest after continually refusing to comply with lawful orders. The subject was transported to the Martin County Jail where he was booked on charges of disorderly Intoxication, interference with an FWC Officer, and resisting arrest without violence.

Officers Rogers, Moss and Schroer were on federal fisheries patrol, 12 miles offshore near the Oculina Banks. Throughout the day, the officers made multiple vessel stops and conducted fisheries inspections. The officers stopped two center console fishing vessels and a commercial king fish vessel, all of which had multiple violations. The officers found both vessels to be in possession of multiple bottom fish. One of the vessels was using vermilion snapper as cut bait and had a hidden undersized mahi in a front floor hatch. The other vessel had multiple red snapper in a floor hatch of the vessel. The commercial vessel had multiple king fish with no ice. All violations were handled accordingly and the officers issued a total of four federal citations and multiple boating safety gear warnings.

Officers Boyd and McLeod were on water patrol a mile offshore of the St. Lucie Inlet. They stopped a vessel to perform a fisheries inspection and found the captain was in violation of the daily bag limit for vermilion snapper. The captain had 11 vermilion snapper over the daily bag limit of five per person. He also did not have his registration aboard his vessel. The captain was issued a notice to appear (citation) for the misdemeanor violation of possessing over the bag limit for vermilion snapper and a warning for not having the vessel registration on board.

While on patrol of Jonathan Dickinson State Park, Officer Norbrothen was dispatched to the report of a man acting erraticly and violently in the area of the concession stand pavilions. When the officer arrived, he saw a man in distress walking around the area disturbing visitors. Park staff said the man had grabbed them and they were actively attempting to keep the man away from visitors. An investigation by officers on scene concluded that the man had ingested drugs and needed medical evaluation. The man was transported to a local hospital and was later cited for disorderly conduct.

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

Officer Hausler was on water patrol performing boating safety inspections in Taylor Creek when he saw a subject with slurred speech and fumbling with safety gear. The subject claimed to have been drinking and was also on prescription medication. After performing standardized seated field sobriety tasks, the subject was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and booked into the Okeechobee County Jail.

Officer Davis conducted a resource inspection on a subject fishing around the S84 Water Control Structure. Upon checking the subject’s identification through the FWC communication center, it was found that the subject had an active warrant out of Dixie County. The subject was placed under arrest and booked into the Highlands County Jail.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Boyd and McLeod were on patrol and received a call about subjects hiding snook in the rocks near the Palm Beach Inlet during the snook closed season. They conducted surveillance of the beach and saw the subjects walking back to their vehicles. When the officers inspected their property for contraband, they found a 35-inch snook in one of the subject’s possession. The legal slot for snook is 28-32 inches. The subject in possession of the snook was issued a notice to appear (citation) for two charges: possession of snook out of season and possession of oversized snook. The subject was also issued two warnings for no shoreline saltwater license and possessing a snook with no snook permit.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Officers Payne and Arnold were watching people fish at a spillway in Fort Pierce when they saw a subject place an undersized snook in the rocks. The subject went to a nearby truck and got a bucket and returned to the area. He went by a tree, lifted a palm limb and removed 3 undersized snook, placing them in the bucket. He went to some rocks and removed and placed a fourth snook in the bucket. When the subject returned to the truck, Officer Arnold started down the road to contact the vehicle. Upon making contact, no bucket or fish were discovered in the truck. After searching the area for a few minutes, Officer Payne, who had now arrived on scene, located the subject observed earlier hiding along a canal bank in tall grass. When asked where the bucket and fish were, the subject stated that he was not fishing despite fish scales and slime on his shirt. A further search of the area located the bucket containing 4 undersized snook in a nearby dumpster. The subject was placed under arrest for possession of snook out of season, possession of undersized snook, over the bag limit of snook and transported to St. Lucie County Jail.

Officer Payne was watching a spillway in Fort Pierce when a subject caught a snook. A different subject fishing there took the snook and put it in a bucket and began to leave the spillway. Officer Shermetaro located the subject with the bucket and snook, which was undersized. The subject was cited for possession of undersized snook and possession of snook out of season. A records check of the subject revealed that he had been cited for the same violation before.

Officer Arnold responded to a spillway in Fort Pierce about a subject in possession of a snook. Upon his arrival, Officer Arnold saw a single person fishing. After contacting the only individual there, the subject stated that he had no fish, however a snook was discovered on a stringer nearby. The subject was cited for possession of undersized snook and possession of snook out of season.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Lieutenant Hankinson responded to an apartment complex with an eight-foot alligator attempting to enter a screened enclosure. He caught the alligator before it did more damage to the resident’s porch and AC unit. The alligator was safely removed without further incident and turned over to a state licensed trapper.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
GLADES COUNTY

Officers Davis, Padgett, Dial and Fijalkowski were dispatched to a disabled vessel occupied by 2 adults and 3 small children on the Lake Okeechobee marsh. The weather was deteriorating quickly due to an approaching lightning storm and there was no place for the family to safely retreat. Officers Davis and Padgett located the vessel by airboat while Officers Dial and Fijalkowski responded by mud boat to assist with transporting the occupants to safety. All occupants of the vessel were safely transported to Indian Prairie Canal Boat Ramp in Glades county.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Lieutenant Hankinson was patrolling near the Lake Worth Avenue Bridge when a person approached him and advised of a female subject threatening to commit suicide. He located the subject on a fishing pier adjacent to the bridge. As he began to approach the subject she placed a garbage bag over her head and jumped into the Intracoastal Waterway. As he prepared for a water rescue, the subject surfaced and removed the bag from her face. Lieutenant Hankinson along with responding deputies and fire rescue safely intercepted the swimming subject. She was rescued and brought to land without further harm or incident. Fire rescue transported the subject for medical assistance and evaluation.


SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

While on water patrol, Officers Moschiano and Blanco conducted a resource inspection on a vessel about a mile east of the Biscayne Channel. Upon inspection of the vessel, the subject was found to be in possession of three undersized mahi and was missing a type 4 PFD, current flares, a fire extinguisher and the registration to the vessel. The subject was cited accordingly.

While on water patrol near Deering Bay channel, Officers Moschiano and Blanco conducted a resource inspection on a vessel near the mangroves. Upon inspection of the vessel the officers found the subjects in possession of 15 undersized mangrove/gray snapper and 9 over the bag limit mangrove/gray snapper. Appropriate enforcement action was taken.

The Fearless crew consisting of Lieutenants Kaloostian and Yanez and Officer Delgado departed Miami for a multiday patrol. During the patrol, the crew wrote citations for many commercial fishery, recreational fishing and charter vessel violations. Violations included possession of seventeen undersized mangrove snapper, twenty-five undersized lane snapper, possession of four undersized mahi, over the bag limit of red snapper, twenty undersized yellowtail snapper and yellowtail snapper not in whole condition. They also cited possession of eighteen undersized lane snapper. They also stopped a charter vessel fishing in North Ecological Reserve in possession of red grouper, five mangrove snapper, two mutton snapper, two hogfish and one undersized black grouper. Appropriate enforcement action was taken for the violations.

MONROE COUNTY

Officers Richards, Foell, Sutter and Trueblood onboard FWC offshore patrol vessel Trident conducted a directed night-patrol focusing on the mutton snapper spawn. The officers patrolled outside the reef line from Marathon to Key West and saw many vessels fishing the popular spawn locations. Throughout the night eight recreational and commercial vessels targeting mutton snapper were inspected. One recreational vessel leaving Western Dry Rocks was inspected with three male subjects onboard. When asked how many mutton snapper were onboard the operator stated 15. A total of 18 mutton snapper were found onboard the vessel. The operator was cited accordingly for the bag limit violation.

Officer Maldonado conducted a vessel resource check on a boat with three persons on board. The occupants were fishing inside the Carysfort Reef Sanctuary Protection Area (SPA) in North Key Largo. Officer Maldonado saw a bucket with four speared hogfish. All four hogfish measured less than 16 inches in length. The bucket also contained five undersized yellowtail snapper measuring less than 12 inches in length, two undersized schoolmaster snapper measuring less than 10 inches in length, and one undersized mangrove snapper measuring less than 10 inches in length. All the hogfish were caught using a spear gun. Appropriate enforcement action was taken.

Officers Wagner, Rubenstein, and Piekenbrock were working a targeted enforcement action offshore of Cudjoe Key. The officers conducted an inspection of vessels leaving the weed lines in 250 feet of water where many small mahi were being caught. The officers found a vessel to be in possession of 9 undersize mahi. The individuals stated they lost count of how many they had and didn’t measure any of them. Officers issued 3 misdemeanors and a warning for vessels taking undersized dolphin.

Officer Petru was on water patrol near Whale Harbor Channel on the bayside when he saw a USCG vessel which had a boat stopped with numerous people on board. Officer Petru stopped as routine backup and the Coast Guard boarding officer told him the operator had a warrant out of Georgia. FWC dispatch found that he also had a warrant out of Florida as well for failure to pay child support. The man was placed under arrest for the outstanding warrants.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Kleis recognized a subject in a public area as having an active felony warrant with FWC. The warrant was issued because of a previous resource violation investigation conducted by Investigator White. Officer Kleis, along with Officers Yurewitch and Thurkettle waited for the subject to return to his vehicle in the parking lot. Officer Kleis approached the subject and explained to him that he had a warrant. The subject was placed under arrest and transported to the Collier County Jail.

Officer Plussa was conducting overnight foot patrol on Naples Beach when he saw two subjects carelessly shining bright flashlights and taking selfies. The subjects were near a posted sea turtle nesting location. Both subjects were shown the posted ordinance sign. The ordinance prohibits lights on the beach during the current nesting season. Officer Plussa explained the negative effects artificial light can have on both nesting sea turtles and hatchlings. Both subjects were issued the appropriate warnings.

The Coast Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission jointly seized 11 shark fins and dismembered sharks aboard a 40-foot commercial fishing vessel near South Sound Creek. A Station Islamorada Special Purpose Craft- Law Enforcement crew with an FWC officer aboard located the boat off South Sound Creek with improper display of navigation lights. Through the course of the boarding, the boarding team discovered 11 shark fins and dismembered sharks aboard the boat Miss Shell. The boat was escorted to Port Largo and the catch was seized.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Kleis, Yurewitch, and Tidwell responded to a complaint of a bear in a Naples apartment complex. Upon arrival, the officers discovered the bear lying down on one of the building staircases. Due to the bear’s location, several residents were unable to enter or exit their apartments. A crowd began to congregate, and due to the size of the crowd and proximity of the bear, Collier County deputies were called to assist. Once the crowd was moved to a safe location Officer Kleis hazed the bear away from the building with his bear aversion shotgun and beanbag rounds.

Officer Plussa and Collier County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to multiple calls reporting a wildlife trapping company trespassing on private property in a residential neighborhood. The callers reported firearms being discharged to kill muscovy ducks. The trappers were found to be using air-powered pellet guns that are used to move the ducks out of an area. The trappers had been misinformed about the boundaries of the contract they were working. Officer Plussa reviewed nuisance wildlife regulations with the trappers and educated them on private property boundaries. Several trespass warnings were issued at the request of homeowners.

Investigator Alford, Officer Polly and Officer Araujo inspected two captive wildlife facilities in response to caging complaints from a concerned citizen. The nature of the complaint was regarding the shelter of the Bengal tigers and the Florida panther. After the inspection, the cages were found to have adequate shelter that exceeded the state law requirements. The citizen was notified of the facility’s compliance.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MONROE COUNTY

Officer Dube and his son attended the Everglades Youth Conservation Camp at the JB Corbett Wildlife Management area in Palm Beach County. The week-long summer camp has numerous programs that include a subject safety course, fresh and saltwater fishing, paddle sports, archery and equestrian activities. The Everglades Camp also teaches the young campers about conservation goals and initiatives while being a steward of our environment.

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  FWC Enforcement Report June 8-14. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 07-01-2018, 10:31 PM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
BAY COUNTY

Officer McMillion was conducting boating safety and resource protection inspections in the Mexico Beach Canal and saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying fishing gear. During an inspection of the vessel, the officer determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed three gray triggerfish in possession during closed season. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation.

Reserve Officer Cooper conducted a resource inspection in St. Andrews Bay of a vessel returning from fishing. During the inspection, the officer found three undersized gray triggerfish and several vermillion snapper. Gray triggerfish season is closed. Also, several of the vermillion snapper were undersized. Reserve Officer Cooper issued the captain of the vessel a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closed season and a warning for the undersized vermillion snapper.

Reserve Officer Cooper conducted a resource inspection in St. Andrews Bay of a vessel returning from fishing. During a fisheries inspection of the vessel the officer located numerous fish in the front fish hold. Also in the hold were several plastic bags. Two of the bags contained leftover bait but the third contained four fish fillets that were determined to be from red snapper. Among the whole fish found in the hold, the officer located an undersized red grouper. The captain of the vessel took responsibility for the red snapper fillets and one of the passengers took responsibility for the undersized red grouper. The captain was issued a citation for possession of red snapper during closed season and the passenger was issued a citation for the undersized red grouper.

Reserve Officer Cooper conducted a resource inspection in St. Andrews Bay of a vessel returning from fishing. During the fisheries inspection of the vessel, the officer located four red snapper in the fish box. The captain of the vessel took responsibility for the violation and was issued a citation for possession of red snapper during closed season.

Reserve Officer Cooper conducted a resource inspection in St. Andrews Bay of a federally permitted fishing vessel returning from fishing. During a fisheries inspection of the vessel, the officer located an undersized gray triggerfish in the bottom of the fish box. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closed season.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

While on routine patrol, Officer Long received information regarding a person trespassing and fishing on private property. The suspect was cited for trespassing and fishing on the same property earlier this year. While Officers Long and McHenry were searching the property, the suspect was spotted and immediately fled northwest through adjacent properties. With assistance from FWC aviation assets and local K9 deputies, the suspect was apprehended and cited for resisting without violence, trespass after warning and interference with an FWC officer.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Kossey and Martin were at Water Street Seafood when they saw subjects entering the seafood market. Officer Kossey approached the truck they were driving and spoke to a female occupant who stated they were selling triple tail. After an inspection, Officer Kossey determined the subjects were not in possession of a valid saltwater products license that is required to sell fish. Both subjects were cited and four triple tail were seized as evidence.

GADSDEN COUNTY

Officer Brower was on night land patrol at the Jim Woodruff Dam in Chattahoochee. He saw a man sitting on the tailgate of a truck in the parking lot. As he approached, he saw three coolers in the back of the truck. Officer Brower asked if there were any fish in the coolers and the man stated he did have some fish. Officer Brower asked the man if he had a fishing license and the man showed him a valid freshwater fishing license. The man opened the coolers which had bream, hybrid bass and black bass fillets. Officer Brower counted 76 bream. Twenty-six bream were seized and the appropriate citation for over the limit bream was issued.

GULF COUNTY

Officers M. Webb and H. Webb were on patrol in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 14 miles south of Panama City Beach when they conducted a resource inspection of a recreational fishing vessel. The vessel had been actively fishing. During a resource inspection, the officers found the occupants of the vessel in possession of gray triggerfish during closed season. The captain was issued a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closure.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officers Pifer, Baber, and Homan were on vessel patrol around Crab Island when they stopped a vessel in violation of the idle speed zone. During the stop, the operator showed signs of impairment and admitted to consuming alcohol. Officer Pifer administered standardized field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the field sobriety tasks, Officer Pifer placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.155 and 0.161 blood alcohol content.

Officers Pifer, Baber, and Homan were on vessel patrol in the Crab Island area when they stopped a personal watercraft (PWC) in violation of the idle speed zone. During the stop the operator showed signs of impairment. Several empty and unopened cans of beer were on board the vessel and the operator admitted to consuming alcohol. Officer Homan administered standardized field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the sobriety tasks, Officer Homan placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.080 and 0.081 blood alcohol content.

Officers Pifer, Baber, and Homan were on vessel patrol in the Crab Island area when they stopped a vessel which was being operated at night without an all-round white light. During the stop, the operator showed signs of impairment and admitted to consuming alcohol. Officer Pifer administered standardized field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the sobriety tasks, Officer Pifer placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.147 and 0.148 blood alcohol content.

Officers Pifer, Baber, and Homan were on vessel patrol in the Crab Island area when they stopped a vessel in violation of the idle speed zone. During the stop, the operator showed signs of impairment, admitted to consuming alcohol, and multiple empty beer bottles were in a cooler on board. Officer Pifer administered standard field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the field sobriety tasks, Officer Pifer placed the operator under arrest for BUI.

Investigator Molnar and Officer Corbin were on vessel patrol at Crab Island when they saw a personal watercraft (PWC) towing a kayak and innertube with people on board not wearing lifejackets (PFD). The vessel was not displaying a boating safety decal. A vessel stop was conducted for a boating safety inspection. Upon pulling alongside the PWC, the operator looked straight ahead and avoided making eye contact with the officers. While conducting the safety inspection, the operator continued to show multiple signs of impairment and consented to field sobriety tasks. After the tasks Investigator Molnar arrested the operator for BUI. The operator provided a breath sample of 0.198 and 0.205 blood alcohol content. The operator was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail for BUI.

Officer Corbin and Investigator Molnar conducted a vessel stop on a personal watercraft (PWC) for violation of idle speed zone at Crab Island. While the operator was searching for the registration certificate, he opened a compartment, placed his hand inside and attempted to conceal the contents. Both officers detected an odor of cannabis coming from the PWC. The operator refused to comply with the officers’ commands to fully open the compartment and remove his hand. He was detained aboard the officers’ vessel and a search of the PWC revealed three cannabis cigarettes. While speaking with the operator, the officers saw his eyes were bloodshot and watery and he smelled of an alcoholic beverage. The operator consented to field sobriety tasks and after the tasks, Officer Corbin arrested the operator for BUI. The operator provided a breath sample of .088 and .087 blood alcohol content. The operator was booked into jail on BUI and possession of cannabis less than 20 grams. He was also issued a citation for violation of idle speed zone.

Officers Pifer and Corbin were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and resource protection in the Destin area. The officers saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico into the Destin Pass with fishing rods displayed. During the boating safety inspection, the officers determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed that five gray triggerfish were harvested out of season. During the safety inspection and resource inspection, Officer Corbin saw open and unopened beer cans on the boat. The operator admitted to consuming several of the beers. With consent the operator performed field sobriety tasks. The operator had indicators of impairment and was arrested for BUI.

Officer Wilkenson, along with U.S. Coast Guard personnel, was on vessel patrol conducting public safety/boating safety inspections during the Billy Bowlegs event in Santa Rosa Sound. Officer Wilkenson smelled a distinct odor of burnt cannabis emitting from a 48-foot cabin vessel. Using binoculars, Officer Wilkenson saw an individual smoking what appeared to be a cigarette. The officer maneuvered the patrol vessel to contact the individual. The investigation revealed one individual in possession of cannabis. Further, the vessel was federally documented and the owner has owned it for three years and failed to register the boat. The operator/owner was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Corbin was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and resource protection in Destin Pass. The officer saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying rods and reels. During the boating safety stop, the officer determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed that four red snapper, one king mackerel not in whole condition, and several bonita were harvested. The red snapper was harvested out of season. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation for the red snapper violation and a warning for failure to land king mackerel in whole condition.

Officers Jarvis and Maltais were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and resource protection in Destin Pass. The officers saw an 18-foot vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying rods and reels. During the safety inspection, Officer Jarvis determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed that four gray triggerfish were harvested out of season. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Jones was on water patrol in Santa Rosa Sound near the Navarre Beach Boat Ramp and noticed a personal watercraft operating on a plane in the idle speed zone. He contacted the vessel operator who showed signs of impairment. Officer Jones asked the operator to perform field sobriety tasks during which he showed signs of impairment. The boater was arrested for BUI and transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
JEFFERSON COUNTY

Officer Wilcox and Lieutenant Wass de Czege participated in a children’s event at Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center with over 90 youth from the Children’s Home Society. The participants were divided into three groups and rotated between the fishing, archery, and FWC stations. At the FWC station, the officers talked to the children about everything from hunting and boating safety to human/wildlife conflict.

Lieutenant Wass de Czege taught the laws portion of the Safety Course to 34 kids participating at the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center. The kids were from two groups who attend summer camp programs at the facility.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
BAKER

Officer Burnsed was on patrol in a private hunting lease when he heard hunting dogs actively pursuing wildlife. Officer Burnsed located the owner of the dogs, who was monitoring the pursuit. The dogs were found to be running deer during the closed season. It was determined the owner knowingly allowed the dogs to pursue the deer during the closed season. Charges will be filed for the violation.

LEVY

Officer Fox was conducting vessel safety/resource inspections at the main boat ramp in Cedar Key during opening day of gag grouper season. During one inspection, Officer Fox saw an individual in possession of one out-of-season red snapper and three cobia. The individual claimed the fish as his own. Red snapper season for recreational subjects opens June 11 and the daily bag limit of cobia is one per person, two per vessel, whichever is less. Officer Fox issued the individual a misdemeanor citation for possession of out-of-season red snapper and over the daily bag limit of cobia.

Officer Fox was conducting water patrol near Cedar Key when he saw a commercial offshore-charter boat approach his location. Officer Fox conducted a vessel safety/resource inspection on the vessel. The captain of the vessel informed Officer Fox that he had several species of fish onboard. Officer Fox saw one undersized gag grouper in a fish hold on the vessel. Gag grouper must be a minimum of 24 inches in length to possess. Officer Fox issued the captain a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized gag grouper.

Officer Fox was conducting water patrol by land at the Highway 40 boat ramp in Yankeetown when he saw a vessel returning to the boat ramp with fishing poles displayed. Officer Fox asked the individuals if they had any luck fishing and they informed Officer Fox that they had five black tip sharks onboard. Officer Fox conducted a vessel safety/resource inspection on the vessel and saw the sharks. The vessel limit for black tip sharks is two. Officer Fox also saw that the vessel trailer did not have a license plate attached nor did it have operable lights. Officer Fox issued the captain a misdemeanor citation for over the bag limit of sharks and two written warnings for no trailer tag/lights.

Officers Willis and Hilliard were performing boating safety and resource inspections during a fishing tournament in Cedar Key. During weigh in, the officers noticed an individual with two small spotted sea trout that were not measured prior to being weighed. Officer Willis measured the fish on an agency-provided measuring device as well as on the ruler being used by the tournament to show that the fish measured undersized. Officer Willis issued a misdemeanor notice to appear and a written warning for the violations.

ALACHUA

Officers Reith and Stanley received information about an individual who illegally harvested two alligators in Union County. The officers located the suspect and obtained written statements from two witnesses. While conducting interviews, Officer Stanley learned that the alligator meat was also illegally packaged. Several charges were filed through the State Attorney’s office. Charges included failure to properly tag an alligator and failure to properly label meat packages.

Officer Drew was on patrol along the Santa Fe River in Alachua County when he saw an individual fishing near the SR 121 Bridge. Officer Drew watched the individual for several minutes from a concealed location under the bridge. Officer Drew approached the individual to conduct a fisheries inspection and fishing license check. The individual stated he did not have a fishing license. A records check through FWC Dispatch revealed that the individual’s fishing license had been revoked. Officer Drew issued a misdemeanor citation for fishing with a suspended or revoked fishing license and advised the suspect he could not continue to fish.

NASSAU

Lieutenant Wright and Officers Sweat, Stuhr, Mcgregor, Christmas and Shearer worked a BUI detail on the St. Mary’s River in Nassau County. Several contacts were made with 11 citations and 15 warnings issued. As the detail was winding down, a personal water craft approached the boat ramp violating the county idle zone. The female operator was aboard with two children as passengers. At the beginning of the inspection, Officer Sweat detected signs of impairment. After explaining the three violations during the safety inspection, the operator was directed to an area to conduct field sobriety tasks. At the Nassau County Jail she submitted breath samples of 0.098 and 0.095. She was booked the jail for boating under the influence, resisting and battery on law enforcement. She was issued appropriate citations for speed zone and registration violation.

TAYLOR COUNTY

Officers Albritton and Dasher received information of a possible trespass on Four Rivers Timber property. The land manager advised that it appeared a UTV was accessing their property at Blue Springs Lake without authorization and provided security images to the officers. The officers located tire sign and tracked it to a residence. During the investigation they learned who the property owner was and located a male and female who admitted to unlawfully trespassing. Citations were issued.

FEDERAL WATERS

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 2005 Fincat conducted patrols in federal waters targeting the opening of American red snapper season. During the patrols, numerous vessels were stopped with several violations being documented. During one stop of a vessel with two persons on board, Officer Boyer located eight red snapper in two different coolers (the bag limit is two per person). Each person was issued a citation for possession of over the limit. During another stop, a shrimp vessel was checked for Turtle Excluder Device (TED) compliance. Minor violations were noted and corrected during the inspection.

Officers Canfield and Boyer had just finished washing the OPV 2005 Fincat at the FWC Crystal River Field Office and were about to leave when Officer Canfield saw a vessel approaching the dock. When asked if the man was ok, he stated he was having chest pains and thought he might be having a heart attack. Officers Canfield and Boyer secured the subject’s vessel to the FWC dock and remained with him until EMS could arrive. EMS arrived and transported the subject to the hospital.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
BREVARD COUNTY

While on early morning patrol, Lieutenant Lightsey saw a vessel returning from offshore. After conducting a resource inspection, the men were found to be in possession of three undersized mutton snapper. A citation was issued for the offense.

While on foot patrol of a local causeway, Officer Balgo saw an individual cast netting from shore. The officer approached the subject to conduct a resource inspection. The inspection revealed several undersized sheepshead. The subject was cited accordingly.

While on foot patrol along a local roadway, Officer Balgo saw several individuals along the shore fishing. The officer approached the group to conduct a resource inspection. The inspection revealed a mesh bag containing an undersized black drum. Further inspection of the area resulted in a fillet being found with the skin still attached. The officer identified the fillet as that of a snook. After interviewing the subjects, one man admitted to catching the snook with a cast net. Snook season is currently closed in the Atlantic and the use of cast net to take snook is prohibited. Citations were issued for the take of snook out of season, snook by illegal method, and possession of undersized black drum.

While on foot patrol in Port Canaveral, Officer Balgo saw a vessel returning from offshore. The officer approached and performed a safety and resource inspection on the vessel. The inspection revealed several fillets of cobia and king fish. The operator of the vessel was issued a citation for landing cobia not in whole condition.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

While on offshore patrol out of Sebastian Inlet, Officer Dubose saw subjects actively fishing. A resource inspection revealed one undersized mutton snapper. A citation was issued for the offense.

PUTNAM COUNTY

Officer Wester was on patrol at Kenwood Boat Ramp when he conducted a fisheries inspection on a vessel returning to the dock. It was found that one of the subjects on board was is possession of more than one black bass over 16 inches. The subject was cited for the offense.

Officer Bernard conducted a fisheries inspection on a male and female subject at the Palatka City Docks. Neither subject could provide their fishing license, so their names were queried through FWC dispatch. It was found that the female subject had a domestic violence injunction for protection against the male subject. The male subject was taken into custody for violation of the injunction.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer West was traveling home in the early morning hours when he saw the pickup truck in front of him swerve several times from his lane. After conducting a traffic stop and speaking with the adult male operator, Officer West detected signs of impairment. After completing standardized field sobriety tasks, Officer West determined the operator’s normal faculties were impaired. He was arrested for driving under the influence and booked into the Volusia County Jail.

EMERGENCY SERVICES
BREVARD COUNTY

While on patrol, Officer Summers noticed several vehicles braking and swerving on the interstate. The officer then noticed an elderly woman in the middle lane with her arms out, facing oncoming traffic. Officer Summers turned on his emergency lights to stop traffic and escorted the woman to the side of the interstate. Brevard County EMS arrived on scene and escorted her to a local hospital for evaluation.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer Wingard responded to a vessel taking on water with occupants in the water in the Daytona Beach area of the Halifax River. Officer Wingard successfully got the occupants and the vessel safely to the shore.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

Hillsborough and Pinellas officers under Lieutenant Van Trees conducted a Boating Under the Influence detail in Hillsborough County focusing on the Courtney Campbell Causeway and Beer Can Island. They made four arrests for BUI. One subject refused to give a breath sample, while the other operators gave breath samples of .131, .137, and .093. One vessel had small children on board, which increases the penalty. Officers were also training deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office who were riding along on BUI enforcement. Over the two-day detail, they issued one citation for over the bag limit of shark, one citation to a parent for allowing an 11-year-old to operate a PWC, 22 boating citations and 44 warnings.

Officers Berg and Guerin responded to a distressed family of three on an overturned canoe in Hillsborough River State Park. The officers walked over a mile and a half through rough terrain, and eventually located the canoe with a man, woman and their daughter who were being assisted by good Samaritans. The family was taken to shore by the good Samaritans while Officer Berg got into the partially submerged canoe and bailed the water out. Officer Berg brought the canoe back to shore and returned it to the park staff. The officers then brought the family back to the park where they were assessed and medically cleared by fire rescue.

While on water patrol in south Hillsborough County, Officer Martinez and Officer Wilkins stopped a vessel to conduct a boating safety inspection. While interacting with the operator of the vessel, Officer Martinez saw signs of impairment from the operator and asked him to do seated field sobriety exercises. After the exercises, it was determined the operator of the vessel was impaired and subsequently arrested for boating under the influence. The operator refused to give a sample of his breath for testing and was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.

While on water patrol near downtown Tampa, Officer Wilkins and Officer Martinez stopped a vessel to conduct a boating safety inspection. The operator of the vessel was slurring his words, falling over, and showing other signs of impairment. Officer Wilkins asked the subject if he was willing to do seated field sobriety exercises. The operator became combative, argumentative, and yelling expletives at the officers. Officer Wilkins gave the operator another opportunity to do field sobriety exercises and the subject again refused and threatened to flee by driving the boat away. As the officers attempted to arrest the subject for boating under the influence, the subject refused to comply and began resisting the officers. They subdued the subject and he was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for boating under the influence, resisting arrest without violence, and refusal to submit to a breathalyzer.

LEE COUNTY

Officer Price and Lieutenant Spoede were working a targeted enforcement of red snapper regulations in federal waters on opening day of the season in the 29’ SAFE boat. One misdemeanor citation was issued to the captain of a vessel in possession of 17 red snapper, five over his allowable bag limit. The fish were seized as evidence. Multiple warnings were issued relating to resource and boating safety violations.

Officer Winton completed an investigation into the destruction of a gopher tortoise burrow. During the investigation it was determined that the construction company had lied about burrows being on the property and one of the burrows had been rendered uninhabitable as a result of the construction. Charges relating to the take of a threatened species burrow were filed with the State Attorney’s Office.

Officer Winton and Lieutenants Spoede and Ruggiero were patrolling offshore at Fort Myers Beach when they stopped a vessel for a safety inspection. During the inspection it was determined that the vessel was a rental and the livery had rented to someone born after January 1, 1988 without a boater safety identification. The officers went to the livery and discovered that the employee giving pre-ride instructions did not have boater safety training, nor was there boater safety information posted on the premises as required by law. The manager was issued three notices to appear for the violations

MANATEE COUNTY

Officers Dalton and Gonzales were on water patrol around Long Boat Pass near Jew Fish Key. They stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel that was transiting near the key. While going through the boating safety inspection, it appeared that the operator was under the influence of alcohol. Upon further investigation, the officers determined that the operator was boating under the influence and was arrested and taken to jail.

PASCO COUNTY

Officer Bergwerff was on land patrol at Anclote River Park when she saw two PWC operators violating the idle speed zone. She contacted the operators after they returned to the dock, and during her inspection, she noticed indicators of impairment. Officer Bergwerff conducted field sobriety tasks on both operators. She arrested one of the operators after they performed poorly on the tasks. While at the county jail, the subject provided breath samples which measured .116 and .115.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While conducting offshore water patrol, Officer Bibeau saw a fishing vessel displaying a dive flag with a swimmer in the water. The individual was actively spearfishing when Officer Bibeau contacted the vessel. Officer Bibeau conducted a fisheries inspection and located 4 undersized gag grouper and 1 undersized red grouper. The subject admitted to spearing the undersized fish and was cited accordingly.

While on water patrol in south St. Petersburg, Officer Martinez saw a subject violating a slow speed zone and initiated a vessel stop. After contacting the operator, Officer Martinez noticed signs of impairment to include slurred speech, poor balance, and a strong odor of alcohol. The subject was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail for BUI.

Officers Alvis, Smith, Bergwerff, and Fagan, along with Lieutenant Wells, conducted a three-day patrol operation on the Offshore Patrol Vessel Gulf Sentry for the opening of “charter” red snapper. The officers inspected multiple commercial and recreational fishing vessels. One recreational vessel had several red snapper in the cooler on ice during the closed season. A notice to appear was issued to the vessel captain. Another vessel had paying customers aboard along with red snapper. The vessel captain told the officers that he left his federal charter reef fish permit at his residence. After some investigative work the officers discovered that the vessel captain did not have a charter reef fish permit. Federal charges were issued for running a charter without the proper permits and possession of red snapper during the closed season.

Officers Berg and Cason responded to a complaint that there was a group of individuals catching and keeping multiple snook under John’s Pass bridge. Upon arrival, the officers located six individuals fishing in the area and conducted a fisheries inspection. The inspection revealed five snook, four of which were undersized. Two of the subjects admitted to catching the snook after being read their Miranda warning. Both subjects were cited for the following violations; possession of undersized snook, possession of snook over the daily bag limit and possession of snook during closed season.

While conducting offshore water patrol, Officer Bibeau stopped a fishing vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection. He located numerous deep-water grouper and a large swordfish. Officer Bibeau found that no one onboard the vessel had a valid federal HMS permit to harvest and be in possession of a swordfish. After reading the group Miranda Rights and asking a series of questions, the officer was able to identify the individual that caught and harvested the swordfish and they were written a federal citation for failing to obtain a valid HMS permit. The case has been forwarded to the local NOAA office for prosecution.

While conducting offshore water patrol, Officer Bibeau stopped a fishing vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection. Officer Bibeau located 3 undersized red grouper, the largest measuring only 15 inches. The operator of the vessel received a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized red grouper.

While on water patrol in Tampa Bay, Officers Wilkins and Martinez stopped a vessel that had been spearfishing earlier in the day to conduct a resource inspection. The officers found two undersized gag grouper, one undersized scamp grouper, and one undersized hogfish. The two subjects were issued numerous misdemeanor citations and warnings for their violations.

Officer Phillippi and Officer Ferguson received a complaint about a subject keeping undersized fish near the Dunedin Causeway. The officers arrived, found the subject in question and conducted a resource inspection. Officer Phillippi found numerous undersized sheepshead. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for the violation.

SARASOTA COUNTY

Officer Gonzales was on water patrol in the area of Venice Inlet when he stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on an individual operating a jet ski with no life jacket. While going through the boating safety inspection, it appeared to the officer that the operator was under influence of alcohol. After investigating further, Officer Gonzales arrested the operator and he was taken to jail for boating under the influence.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
LEE COUNTY

Lieutenant Parisoe conducted an outreach at a local FYCCN sponsored fishing camp. He provided instruction on boating safety requirements and answered general questions related to rules and regulations. There were 17 youth that attended the presentation.

Officers Price and Collazo conducted education seminars to educate individuals about hunting laws and seasons. The officers gave dozens of people the opportunity to speak with them and learn more about local Wildlife Management Area regulations.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
LEE COUNTY

Officers Collazo, Garcia, Gray, Furbay, Perry, Price, Salem and Stapleton worked speed enforcement in Lee County Panther Zones. During the detail, 27 warnings, 2 misdemeanors and 7 Infractions were issued. The fastest speed recorded was 99 MPH in 45 MPH.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
GLADES COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol at the Moore Haven Locks and saw a group of five individuals fishing. Only one person had a valid fishing license. To issue warnings to the other individuals, the officer asked for their driver’s licenses for identification. Three subjects did not have a valid driver’s license. After running their information through law enforcement databases, it was confirmed that they did not possess valid driver’s licenses. Officer Brodbeck issued warnings for fishing without a valid freshwater license. While still in his marked patrol truck, two of the individuals without a driver’s license got into a car and drove away. Officer Brodbeck initiated a traffic stop and issued the driver a criminal citation for driving without a license.

LEE COUNTY

Officers Keen and Brodbeck were on vessel patrol in Ft. Myers. While in a slow speed zone, the officers saw a vessel with three occupants and fishing rods in plain view speed by their marked patrol vessel. A vessel stop was conducted to address the violation. During a boating safety and resource inspection, multiple signs of impairment was displayed by the operator of the vessel. The operator agreed to perform seated field sobriety tasks. After the tasks were completed the operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence (BUI). At the Lee County Jail, 2.5 hours after the arrest, the operator provided a breath sample of 0.11 BrAC. The operator of the vessel was issued a criminal boating citation for BUI with a BrAC of 0.08 or higher.

HENDRY COUNTY

Lieutenant Steelman, along with Officers Keen and Brodbeck conducted targeted enforcement on the Caloosahatchee River focusing on boating safety violations. While performing over 100 vessel stops, 20 boating citations and warnings were issued for no PFD’s, insufficient PFD’s, child under 6 not in a PFD, vessel safety equipment, and careless operation.

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

Investigator Alford and Officer Krasco investigated a captive wildlife incident at the Home Depot store. After the investigation, it was determined that the owner of a spider monkey had failed to control her pet monkey in a manner to protect the public from physical contact that resulted in injury. The owner of the spider monkey was issued two criminal citations related to the possession of captive wildlife and public contact.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Boyd received a report of multiple subjects illegally feeding raccoons near a neighborhood in Boca Raton. The concentration of raccoons in that area were multiplying due to the illegal feeding activity and were becoming a nuisance to the area and a hazard on the roadway where they were being fed. Officer Boyd conducted surveillance and witnessed two subjects feeding raccoons by hand. Both subjects had previously been warned that feeding raccoons is illegal in the state of Florida and they were each given a citation for the offense.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Schroer and Officer Boyd responded to a caller advising that she had caught a three-foot alligator she had found injured on the road. The caller said she wanted the alligator to be taken to a rehabilitation center for treatment. Officer Boyd retrieved the alligator from her and informed the woman that it is illegal to possess an American Alligator unless you have a permit. He further advised that if a similar situation occurs in the future, she should contact FWC at 888-404-FWCC (3922) for assistance and not touch the alligator. The alligator was taken to a local animal rehabilitation center and treated for its injuries.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Lieutenant Hayes, Investigator Phillips, Officers Morrow, Rogers, Spradling, Kirkland, and Merizio responded to the JW Corbett WMA, about a possible suicidal subject. Officers attempted to locate the subject while FWC communications personnel conducted a GPS ping of the subject’s phone location. After locating the phone, it was determined that the subject was at a nearby community. The subject was located and determined to be in good health by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Officer Fernandez and Officer Camejo were on land patrol in Miami Dade County in the area of Loop Road within the Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area(WMA). They saw a subject fishing along the north side of the road about a 1/4 mile east of the county line boat ramp. When asked, the defendant denied having a fishing license and claimed a bucket full of fish nearby. Upon inspecting the bucket, Officer Lopez discovered 9 largemouth black bass to which the defendant claimed possession. He was cited for possession over the bag limit on largemouth black bass, and for fishing without a valid freshwater fishing license.

Officer Cartaya was working a detail at Oleta State Park when he saw a vehicle with a driver that was not wearing his seat belt. He stopped the vehicle and asked the driver for his driver license. The subject was not able to produce a valid Florida driver license or a valid Florida ID. After a check through DHSMV for a driver's license, the officer discovered the driver never obtained one. The subject was cited for no driver's license.

MONROE COUNTY

Officers Cobb, Mobley and Piekenbrock responded to an overdue vessel call near Marathon. The officers were on the way back to the dock when they saw a vessel operating with no navigational lights displayed. The vessel was stopped for a safety inspection. During the inspection they saw signs of impairment from the operator. After conducting a BUI investigation, the operator was arrested for BUI and transported to the Stock Island Jail.

Officer Maldanado was on water patrol near the Carysfort Reef Sanctuary Protection Area when he conducted a resource inspection on a boat with three persons on board. There was a total of four hogfish on the boat between two subjects. The bag limit in Monroe County is one hogfish per person. There were also several undersized snapper including yellowtail, schoolmaster, and mangrove. One of the harvesters did not have a valid saltwater fishing license. They were cited accordingly for the fishing violations and were issued written warnings for fishing and spearfishing in a national marine sanctuary protection area.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Plussa was conducting water patrol near the four-way intersection of Gordon Pass, Naples Bay, Dollar Bay, and Hamilton Harbor channels. He saw a rental vessel exit the channel into the slow speed manatee zone, pass dangerously close to a very large commercial tour vessel, and proceed through the marine intersection at a dangerously high rate of speed with an obstructed view and in disregard for vessel traffic. Officer Plussa stopped the vessel for the multiple violations. During the investigation, the subject lied about his age and attempted to mislead Officer Plussa. He was arrested for boating under the influence as the result of the investigation. He was cited for BUI, refusal to submit to breath test, three navigation rule violations, two restricted area/manatee zone violations, and careless operation of a vessel.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Plussa participated in the Collier County Sherriff’s Office Summer “Junior Deputy” Camp. Approximately 150 elementary and 25 middle school age students were taught about local wildlife and had the opportunity to interact with “Junior,” a three-foot American alligator. FWC Panther Outreach Specialist Johnson presented information about panthers and shared a life-sized “replica panther” with the students.

MONROE COUNTY

Officer Dube gave a FWC presentation at the USCG Station Islamorada for a group of high school seniors from a high school in Dade County. After Coast Guard officers gave the students a tour of the station and a short presentation, Officer Dube talked about the role of a FWC officer and the agency’s priorities as well as the close relationships the FWC has with our law enforcement partners. Officer Dube also let them come aboard his FWC Vessel and see all the patrol vessels features. The students were treated to a luncheon after the presentations.

Officer Dube was the guest host on a local radio show at an Islamorada restaurant. Officer Dube explained ways to keep your family safe before you leave the dock, such as check the safety gear, weather report and a designate a driver if there is alcohol consumption aboard the vessel.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
MONROE COUNTY

Officer Mobley was off-duty at Faro Blanco Resort in Marathonwith friends when she heard loud screaming "Help" coming from the pool area. She turned around and saw a female with a small child in her arms shaking him. She sprinted over to assist. Once alongside the child who was blue, an off-duty doctor and Officer Mobley started CPR. The doctor and Officer Mobley continued two-man CPR as they supported the child's head and maintained the airway. After approximately 2-3 minutes of compressions the child started coughing up water. They checked for a pulse and continued with CPR efforts. The child began to cough up more water and cry and breathe on his own. The child was handed over to awaiting EMS and transported to a local hospital before being airlifted to Miami’s Jack Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. The young girl who found the child at the bottom of the pool estimated he was down for approximately forty-five seconds to a minute.

Officer Carroll and Lieutenant Payne responded to a kayaker in distress who was having a diabetic episode in an unknown location somewhere in the mangroves and creeks off Curry Hammock State Park. Both officers boarded kayaks and searched for the subject. Approximately an hour later, the subject was spotted by Officer Carroll at the end of the creek on a mud flat. MCSO responded by land and got him to EMS where he was treated without further issue.

A single vessel accident occurred in John Pennekamp State Park waters when a PWC was following a larger vessel whose wake pushed the PWC into the mangroves of South Sound Creek. The single occupant of the PWC suffered a dislocated left shoulder and lacerations to his right bicep and little finger. The victim was taken to shore by Officer McKay where EMS transported the victim to a nearby hospital for treatment. His PWC was towed back to his residence by another family member.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Kleis and Arbogast responded to a marine emergency response team call regarding a group of approximately 20 people that became stranded due to the extreme low tide late at night. The callers were concerned for the safety of a pregnant female who was on board. There were also small children in the group. The tide would not allow the vessel off the beach until early the next morning. FWC officers were first on scene. Marco Island Police, Collier County Sheriff’s Office Aviation unit, and Fire Rescue also responded. The caller’s vessel was approximately 400 yards from the water. Officers pulled in as far as possible and the group walked out to the patrol boats. The FWC officers assisted the pregnant female, 5 small children (approximately 2-5 years old), and 3 other adults on board the FWC patrol vessel. Marco Island PD transported an additional 6 people. The officers transported the group back to land where they could make it home. Three adults from the group stayed with the vessel until the tide was high enough the next morning to get it removed from the beach.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
COLLIER COUNTY

Lieutenant Mahoney, along with Officers Plussa and Yurewitch conducted focused state park patrol on Father’s Day weekend in Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park. Numerous warnings and citations were issued for failure to follow park staff instruction, unlawful speed, alcohol, after-hours, closed area, traffic safety, and other park rule violations.

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  FWC Enforcement Report June 1-7. All Regions
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NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officer Jernigan was on water patrol on the Escambia River near the Highway 90 bridge when he saw two men fishing from one of the bridge supports. Both men had been fishing, but only one of them had a valid fishing license. Officer Jernigan noticed a line tied to the back of the piling that had several fish on it, including two redfish under the minimum size limit of 18 inches. One of the men admitted catching both fish and was charged with taking undersized redfish and warned for the bag limit violation.

Officers Long, Clark and Allgood were on patrol in Perdido Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The officers conducted a stop on a subject who was not wearing a seatbelt as he passed the officers. The operator pulled over, and after a brief conversation with the operator, Officer Long saw signs of impairment. Officer Long performed standardized field sobriety tasks on the operator and arrested the operator after performing poorly on the tasks for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. He was charged with DUI second offense, refusal to submit to breath test second offense, knowingly driving while license is suspended second offense, attaching a tag not assigned to that vehicle and not wearing a seat belt.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

FWC with its partner agencies, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office marine unit and security personnel, Okaloosa County Jail Processing Center, U.S. Coast Guard, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office marine unit, Fort Walton Beach Police Department, Fort Walton Beach Fire and Rescue, Okaloosa Island Fire and Rescue, and Air Force Security Forces, provided public safety for the 63rd Billy Bowlegs Pirates Festival. Part of the Billy Bowlegs event involved about 600 to 700 vessels anchored off Santa Rosa Sound near the Fort Walton Beach landing. Law enforcement and first responder actions included 692 vessel stops; 2,256 citizen contacts; 18 BUI arrests; 56 uniform boating citations issued; 112 written warnings issued; 13 fight and disturbance interventions; 43 calls for service or public assist; four search and rescues; 19 medical responses; six medical transports; one medical transport to hospital; three drug possession charges; two intoxicated individuals secured at the drunk tent; one possession of alcohol under 21 years of age; and one boating accident.

Officer Corbin was on land patrol conducting boating safety, resource protection and license compliance in the Destin area. The officer saw three individuals actively fishing with rods and reels off the Destin Beach. Officer Corbin waited in the parking lot until one of the individuals returned to their vehicle. He made contact and asked to inspect the individual’s required Eglin Beach permit. The individual did not have the permit. The other two individuals also returned to the vehicle. The officer explained that Eglin Beach closes at sunset. All three individuals did not have a saltwater fishing license. During the fisheries inspection, Officer Corbin saw beer in the cooler. All three individuals were under the age of 21. The owner of the vehicle claimed ownership of the beer and was issued a notice to appear citation. All individuals were issued citations for no fishing license.

Officer Corbin was on land patrol conducting boating safety, resource protection and license compliance at Cinco Bayou Boat Ramp. The officer saw a male subject exit a vehicle and enter the water with a spear gun and snorkel gear. He saw the subject swimming parallel with the bridge and spearfishing. About three hours later, the subject returned to his vehicle by land without his spear gun. Officer Corbin explained that he had saw him spearfishing within 100 yards of the bridge without a divers down device displayed. The individual did not have a valid fishing license. The individual intentionally left his spear gun on the other side of the bayou because he felt there was an FWC officer in the parking lot. The subject was cited for spearfishing within 100 yards of a fishing bridge, no divers down device and no fishing license.

Officers Corbin and Carter, Investigator Hein and Major Duval were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspection and resource protection in the Destin area. They saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico with rods and reels displayed. The vessel was stopped and a fisheries inspection revealed that a red snapper was harvested out of season. The boat operator was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officers Pifer, Winton and Investigator Patterson were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspection and resource protection in the Destin area. They saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico with rods and reels displayed. The vessel was stopped and a fisheries inspection revealed red snapper and gray triggerfish harvested out of season, along with an undersized red grouper. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation for the resource violations.

Officers Pifer, Winton and Investigator Patterson made a vessel stop that resulted in the arrest of the operator for BUI. Further, Officer Pifer charged the operator with possession of cannabis under 20 grams and paraphernalia. The operator was transported to Okaloosa County Jail.

Officers Corbin, Matechik, Carter and Investigator Hein were on vessel patrol in the Destin Harbor. A boating safety stop was conducted on a 2007 21-foot vessel. While conducting the boating safety inspection, Investigator Hein, who is a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), saw a vape pen when a subject opened a compartment on the center console of the vessel to retrieve the vessel registration. Investigator Hein saw the oil in the vape pen was not consistent with the type of oil normally used in a vape pen. The oil inside the vape pen was thick and a dark yellow color, consistent with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the intoxicant inside cannabis. Upon consent to a search, Investigator Hein detected an odor of cannabis. A field test was done and it was determined the oil in the vape pen was THC. The owner was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officers Corbin, Carter, Investigator Hein and Major Duval were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Destin Pass. The officers saw a vessel being operated on the east side of Crab Island with several adults and children on board. There was also an infant, 6 months old onboard not wearing a lifejacket (PFD) while the vessel was underway. They conducted a vessel stop and advised the operator of the violation. The officers asked the operator if he had a PFD onboard the vessel for the infant and he provided a PFD for a child weighing less than 50 pounds, the improper size for an infant. It was determined the vessel was rented and the livery failed to provide the proper life jacket. The livery personnel who rented the vessel issued a notice to appear citation.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Ramos was on vessel patrol in the Santa Rosa Sound and conducted a boating safety inspection on a pontoon vessel with five adults and three children onboard. During the safety inspection it was discovered that there were only adult personal flotation devices (PFDs) on board and no proper fitting PFDs for the children onboard. The operator stated that the vessel was rented from a nearby livery. Officer Ramos asked the pontoon vessel to return to the livery where he ensured they received the correct sized PFDs for the children. He then identified the person responsible for issuing the safety equipment for the rental and issued the employee a notice to appear citation for not providing the proper safety equipment to the vessel.

WAKULLA COUNTY

Officers Hughes and Korade were on land patrol on Forest Road 305 in the Apalachicola Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near the intersection of Forest Road 376 when they saw vehicle lights going in circles at the intersection. They stopped the vehicle and contacted the occupants, at which time an open alcoholic beverage container was noticed. The passenger advised that the alcohol belonged to him. Citations were issued to both subjects; the driver for damage to public lands and the passenger for open container.

Officer Morales was approached by a St. Marks Refuge employee who advised that a State Park employee was being harassed by a patron to the park. Officer Morales followed up the investigation with the assistance of Officers Carr and Hughes. The patron was located and issued a trespass warning for the park as requested by the park manager.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
LEON COUNTY

Officer Johnson and Lieutenant Wass de Czege participated in the “Annual Kids Fishing Day” at Alfred B. Maclay State Park. They talked to the participants about fish identification and rules and regulations before they headed off to fish. The officers also helped award certificates and prizes for the biggest fish, smallest fish, and most fish caught. Approximately 150 people attended the event.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
CITRUS COUNTY

Citrus County officers worked a detail focusing on blue crab violations. The detail resulted in two resource citations, seven boating citations, and 54 written warnings.

Officer Ulrich was on patrol when he checked a subject who was in possession of two undersized red drum and snook out of season. The subject was issued a citation for the snook and warnings for the red drum.

Citrus officers worked offshore fisheries details before and after the opening of the charter red snapper season and recreational grouper season. Officers worked Crystal River, Homosassa River, Ozello area and offshore patrols to inspect vessels harvesting fish. Because of their efforts, the officers collectively accounted for the following cases being written. During the detail, more than 10 resource warnings were written as accompanying enforcement efforts to the below cases:

Possession of gag grouper out of season: 3
Possession of undersized gag grouper: 5
Possession of undersized red grouper: 1
Possession of undersized cobia: 4
Possession of undersized hog snapper: 2
Possession of undersized red drum: 2
Possession oversized red drum: 1
Possession of oversized trigger fish: 1
Possession of oversized red snapper: 1
Possession of undersized mangrove snapper: 1
Possession of undersized black drum: 1
Interference with an FWC officer: 1

TAYLOR COUNTY

Officers Robson and Wilder were on federal water patrol along the coast of Taylor County. While approximately 22 miles offshore near the Buckeye Artificial Reef, the officers saw four men actively fishing from a vessel. Upon making contact and performing an administrative resource inspection, the men aboard the vessel were found to be in possession of two gag grouper, with one undersized. The captain of the vessel was cited accordingly. The fish were seized and donated to charity.

Officers Robson and Wilder received a complaint about an active trespass occurring in a private hunt club in Taylor County. This has been an ongoing issue. When the officers received the description of the UTV and ATV, they began patrolling the area and located the reported two vehicles. The subjects riding the off-road vehicles were also found and interviewed about the trespassing complaint. The subjects admitted to trespassing and were cited accordingly.

CITRUS COUNTY

Officer Boyer and Investigator Bembry were conducting JEA offshore vessel patrol for compliance with saltwater fishery regulations, when they saw a vessel with two occupants fishing. As they came up to the vessel, one occupant emptied a bucket with fish into the water. A further inspection of the vessel revealed two red snapper, which were not in season for recreational harvest and an undersized gag grouper. The two subjects were cited accordingly.

Investigator Thomason organized a combined boating fatality/serious bodily injury training with CISM response training for North Central Regional officers, Northeast Regional officers and an FWC biologist. The training was held on the Withlacoochee River and was designed to show officers how to better prepare mentally and physically for a boating accident involving a fatality/serious bodily injury. The CISM team training provided the officers and CISM team members with a reality-based scenario of what the CISM teams function would be in case of a crisis. Investigator Ayers from the North Central Region, Investigators Weis and Investigator Sumpter from the Northeast Region were very instrumental in making the boating accident training a huge success. Administrative Assistant Buchanan was also instrumental in making sure the CISM training was successful.

DIXIE COUNTY

Officers participated in a detail focusing on the illegal harvest of oysters in prohibited waters along the coastline in Dixie County. Officers were conducting surveillance in an area known for the illegal harvest of oysters when they saw three vessels with several subjects actively harvesting oysters. As the officers approached, the subjects pulled anchor and began to leave the area at a high rate of speed. The officers initiated their emergency lights and one of the vessels stopped shortly thereafter. Officers followed the second vessel up a private canal, where the oysterman abandoned their vessel and fled on foot. After contacting K9 Officer Wiggins, they set up a perimeter with the help of the Dixie County Sheriff’s Office. Officer Wiggins arrived and tracked the subject who was found hiding in a nearby shed. The subjects were arrested and booked in the Dixie County Jail for obstruction and several resource violations. The third suspect was later identified and charges will be direct filed with the State’s Attorney Office in Dixie County.

DUVAL COUNTY

Following heavy rainfalls, an individual placed large tree trunks along the back of their property to prevent erosion into a river. Several dump truck loads of fill dirt were brought in to fill the void from the erosion. An investigation revealed the property was a designated wetland, prohibiting the alterations of the land. Environmental Investigators Terrones and Starling observed tree debris and concrete on an additional wetlands property with the same owner. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will require the property owner to remediate both sites. Appropriate citations were issued.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MADISON COUNTY

Officers Vazquez and Ransom attended an outreach event at the Greenville Elementary School where numerous students, faculty members and the local press were in attendance. Both officers spoke on dealing with conflict wildlife, boating safety and the aspects of resource law enforcement.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
PUTNAM COUNTY

Officer Jones was assisting a disabled vessel around the sandbar and Brown Landing Boat Ramp. The persons on board were from out of town and having engine trouble. Officer Jones helped by hip towing them across the river to the boat ramp. While in tow, Officer Jones saw a vessel coming from behind with loud music and a lot of lights. The oncoming vessel shined a light on Officer Jones’ position several times. Both Officer Jones’ vessel and the disabled vessel had their all around and navigational lights illuminated. As the oncoming vessel got closer, it was heading directly towards the two vessels so the officer activated his blue lights. At the last second the oncoming vessel veered within 15 feet of both vessels while still on full plane. A vessel stop was conducted and the operator showed signs of impairment. After conducting sobriety tests the operator was arrested for boating under the influence and reckless operation of a vessel. The operator refused to provide a breath sample.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officers Malicoat and Pelzel were conducting resource inspections on the shoreline in the Edgewater area. An adult male was unable to provide the proper fishing license upon request and after a check through FWC Dispatch, it was determined he had an outstanding arrest warrant for forgery. He was arrested and booked into the Volusia County Jail.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY

Officers Thomas, Lawrence, Harris, Miller, Greenier, Bertolami, and Lieutenant Zukowsky conducted a detail focused on inspecting retail/wholesale bait shops and seafood dealers in St. Johns and Flagler Counties. Seventeen retail/wholesale dealers were inspected. During the detail, Officers Thomas, Lawrence, and Harris inspected two bait shops without the required retail license. Both bait shops were issued citations for selling bait without a retail dealer’s license. During an inspection of a wholesale dealer, nine quality control violations were identified. The wholesale dealer was issued warnings for the same violations last year. Officers Thomas, Harris, and Lawrence issued the wholesale dealer citations for the nine quality control violations. The officers deemed the seafood unsafe for human consumption and the dealer voluntarily gave up the unwholesome items for disposal.

BREVARD COUNTY

While on foot patrol in Port Canaveral, Officer Balgo saw an individual fishing on the seawall. A resource inspection located six mangrove snappers, five of which were undersized. The individual was cited for possession of undersized mangrove snapper and received warnings for over the bag limit and no fishing license.

While on water patrol near Ski Island, Officers Balgo and Humphrey stopped a vessel for a safety inspection. During the stop, Officer Balgo detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the operator and saw signs of impairment. Officer Balgo administered seated field sobriety exercises and determined that the operator’s normal faculties were impaired. The operator was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and transported to the Brevard County Jail.

Officer Balgo received a call about a subject at Mather’s Bridge catching an oversized red drum and then leaving in his vehicle. After getting a description, Officer Balgo located the vehicle. A fisheries inspection located one 40-inch red drum. A citation was issued for the violation.

While on patrol at Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge, Officer Rasey saw two suspicious subjects near a busy boat ramp. The subjects were standing in the middle of the launch area and staring at the officer’s patrol truck. After several minutes, the subjects walked out of sight. Shortly after, they emerged from a nearby wooded trail carrying a cooler. After walking by the patrol truck and attempting to avoid eye contact, Officer Rasey stopped them and initiated a resource inspection. The inspection revealed that one subject was over the bag limit of red drum. A citation was issued for the violation.

While patrolling Merritt Island Refuge, Officer Humphrey inspected a vessel at the boat ramp. During the stop, the individual admitted to having two black drum. An inspection of the black drum revealed they measured 28 ¼ inches and 30 inches. The subject was issued a citation for possession of more than one black drum over 24 inches.

Officers Maslo and Miller located three individuals keeping undersized fish behind a local business. Officer Maslo saw three subjects meeting the description provided by Officer Miller, who was observing from a concealed location. Officer Maslo found the group to be in possession of undersized sheepshead. One subject was issued a citation for undersized sheepshead.

Lieutenant Lightsey and Officers Delano and Cybula saw a man operating a vehicle at a local boat ramp. Once the operator got out of the vehicle he approached the dock where friends and family were in a vessel. The man did not get into the vessel, instead he allowed family to load the vessel. During the interaction the operator of the vehicle swayed while walking, would not make eye contact with the officers when being spoken to and leaned against the trailer with his head. After speaking with the man, who admitted to drinking several alcoholic beverages, Officer Delano asked if he would participate in standardized field sobriety tasks (SFSTs). During the SFSTs the man stopped and stated that he could not perform any more tasks. The man was placed under arrest for driving under the influence (DUI). He refused to submit to a lawful test of his breath and was turned over to the Brevard County Jail without incident.

Officer Dubose saw two men using a cast net to catch fish under a local bridge. After observing the men for some time a resource inspection was conducted. The inspection revealed that one of the men was in possession of one undersized sheepshead and one undersized black drum. A citation was issued for the violations.

Lieutenant Lightsey received information that someone was keeping undersized pompano at a local beach. Lieutenant Lightsey along with Officers Cybula and Delano located the subject and conducted a resource inspection, locating two undersized pompano. Officer Delano issued the man a citation for possession of undersized pompano.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

Officers Kearney and Stephenson conducted a resource inspection of a man fishing late at night at the Wabasso Causeway. During the check, the subject was unable to produce a fishing license or identification. Lieutenant Lightsey arrived on scene to assist in identifying the man. After investigating further, it was found that the man had given a false name and had a tag not assigned to him in his vehicle. He also had an active arrest warrant out of Indian River County for theft. Officer Stephenson arrested the man on the warrant and filed additional charges of giving a false name to law enforcement while legally detained and attaching tag not assigned.

OSCEOLA COUNTY

Officer McLendon was patrolling Lake Jackson Fish Management Area when he saw two subjects along the shore. Officer McLendon saw one subject catch and keep several large bass, which is a violation of the fish management area rules of catch and release for bass. Upon conducting a fisheries inspection, Officer McLendon discovered the subject had eight bass in his possession, six of which were over 16 inches. The same subject was also in possession of an undersized black crappie. The subject was charged with possession of bass on Lake Jackson, possession of undersized crappie on Lake Jackson, and over the daily bag limit for bass.

EMERGENCY SERVICES
LAKE COUNTY

Officer Morrow was on patrol at Summerall Park in Tavares when he was waived down because a pregnant woman had collapsed in the parking lot. He quickly ran over to the woman who was face down, unconscious and unresponsive. He immediately began to provide first aid. Once she regained consciousness, he placed her on her side with a jacket covering her body and a blanket under her head. He continued to monitor her breathing until EMS arrived.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
DESOTO/HARDEE/POLK COUNTIES

Officers in Desoto/Hardee/Polk Counties participated in boating safety patrols during the Memorial Day weekend. Because of the inclement weather, the number of boaters out for the holiday weekend was lower than past years. Even with the bad weather, FWC officers checked 170 users, conducted 47 vessel inspections, issued 40 written warnings and 5 infractions. Officers Cloud and Geeraerts apprehended five subjects night hunting in west Hardee County issuing each subject a misdemeanor notice to appear.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on land patrol at Cockroach Bay Boat Ramp, Officers Caldwell and Rorer saw a small vessel pull onto the beach. As they approached the vessel to conduct a resource inspection, Officer Caldwell noticed a snook next to the individual that appeared to be swimming slowly away. After the officers read the individual his Miranda Rights, he admitted to throwing the snook overboard when he saw the FWC truck. The individual was cited accordingly for undersized and out of season snook.

LEE COUNTY

While on plainclothes water patrol near New Pass in Lee County, Officer Price saw two individuals throwing a cast net and catching snook. He directed a uniformed officer to their location. Officer Rogers conducted a resource inspection and cited the individuals for violations to include three undersized, out of season, over the bag limit, cast-netted snook.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officer Gonzales was on water patrol around Long Boat Pass near Jew Fish Key. While on patrol he stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel that was transiting near the key. During the boating safety inspection, it appeared that the captain of the vessel was under the influence of alcohol. After an investigation, the operator was arrested and taken to jail for boating under the influence and will have to appear in court for his violation.

Officers Dalton and Gonzales were on water patrol in the area of Long Boat Pass near Jew Fish Key. While on patrol they stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel that was operating near the key. While approaching the vessel, the two officers witnessed two separate men operate the vessel while underway. The officers stopped the vessel and conducted a boating safety inspection and it appeared that both operators were under influence of alcohol. After an investigation, the operators were arrested and taken to jail for boating under the influence. They will have to appear in court for their violations.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on patrol near the Pinellas Bayway, Officer Pettifer conducted a fisheries inspection. The individual said he caught a snook. Upon measuring the snook, Officer Pettifer discovered it was only twenty-two inches long and under the legal minimum size limit of twenty-eight inches. Snook season is also closed. He was issued a citation for possession of a snook during closed season.

While on water patrol west of John’s Pass, Officer Pettifer saw a vessel actively engaged in fishing. Upon approaching the vessel to initiate a fisheries inspection, Officer Pettifer saw a red grouper floating near the stern of the vessel. Officer Pettifer recovered the grouper which measured fourteen inches. Through the course of the inspection, one of the individuals admitted to catching the red grouper and throwing it off the boat when he saw Officer Pettifer’s patrol vessel approaching. That individual was issued citations for illegal take of an undersized red grouper and interfering with the duties of a FWC Officer by not allowing an inspection of his catch.

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Pettifer conducted a fisheries inspection. He found the individual to be in possession of one undersize gag grouper. The individual was issued a citation for the violation.

POLK COUNTY

FWC staff discovered several anomalies on an individual’s application to import non-native reptiles into Florida. This led to an investigation by Lieutenant DeLacure, Captive Wildlife Investigator Hough, and Captive Wildlife Investigator McDaniel. The subject was located and found to be in possession of bush vipers that were unlawfully imported. Further investigation revealed the subject imported 10 gaboon vipers and 15 spitting cobras to Charlotte County. Captive Wildlife Investigator O’Horo went to this location to inspect the facility and interview the subject. Two misdemeanor citations were issued for the illegal importation and illegal possession of venomous snakes.

PASCO COUNTY

Lieutenant DeLacure and Captive Wildlife Investigator Hough responded to a complaint regarding the unlawful possession of venomous snakes. Upon arrival to the subject’s residence, the individual was found to be in possession of a sidewinder rattlesnake without the required license. Eight misdemeanor citations were issued for the unlawful possession and related violations.

Deputies responded to an accident involving a stolen vehicle. Upon arrival, the subject was found to be in possession of a capuchin monkey. Lieutenant DeLacure responded and interviewed the subject. The investigation revealed the subject did not have the required license to possess the monkey. In addition to the grand theft, two misdemeanor charges were filed for the illegal possession and for failure to provide a source of acquisition for the monkey. The monkey was transported to a licensed primate boarding facility.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
LEE COUNTY

While on plainclothes undercover water patrol in the New Pass area, Officer Price watched three men wading and throwing a cast net. As he was approaching the area, he heard yelling coming from the New Pass Bridge. He saw people running off the bridge and down to the seawall and a man (later identified as Danilo DeLeon) clinging to a concrete seawall area which was covered with barnacles. He also saw two men (Olo DeLeon and Isel Lustein Lopez Gonzalez) clinging to barnacle-covered pilings on the New Pass Bridge. The three men in distress were the same three men he had seen wade fishing earlier during his patrols of the area. As he approached the seawall, bystanders and family had pulled Mr. Danilo DeLeon to safety onto the top of the seawall. He moved to assist the other two men struggling to hold onto the bridge’s pilings in the swift current of the outgoing tide. Officer Price pulled up to each piling, he instructed the men to grab hold of the bow of his patrol vessel. He backed the boat away from the bridge and toward the seawall. Before he arrived at the seawall, his motor shut off. The cast net the men were throwing earlier and had tossed away when they were swept out with the tide had become entangled in his patrol vessel’s propeller. Using a makeshift push pole, Officer Price maneuvered his boat to the seawall. He pulled Mr. DeLeon and Mr. Gonzalez into his vessel and onto the safety of the top of the seawall. The men collapsed from exhaustion and had numerous lacerations from the barnacles. Officer Price asked dispatch to contact EMS to evaluate their injuries. EMS arrived on the scene and assessed the three men and Officer Price removed the cast net from his vessel’s propeller. The men were cleared by EMS and all parties involved safely left the area.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Carroll and Officer Brevik were conducting water patrol near the St. Lucie River and Hell’s Gate. The officers saw two personal watercraft operating recklessly. The officers saw a subject in the water and two personal watercraft operating in circles around the subject, accelerating toward the subject and then turning at the last moment to splash the subject in the water. The officers conducted a vessel stop and determined the operators of the personal watercraft were impaired. Officer Carroll arrested one operator for boating under the influence and Officer Brevik arrested the other operator for boating under the influence and reckless operation of a personal watercraft.

Officer Brevik and Officer Carroll were conducting water patrol near the Palm City Bridge Boat Ramp when they saw a truck parked with the passenger door open. The officers approached the vehicle and saw a subject hanging out of the vehicle. Officer Brevik approached the subject to check on his condition. The officers saw the subject was passed out. The subject woke up and exited the vehicle staggering and was unable to stand without bracing himself on the vehicle. Through their investigation, the officers determined the individual was driving while impaired. The individual was arrested and booked into the Martin County Jail.

Officer Carroll was conducting patrol at Sandsprit Park when he saw a vessel with several fishing poles and tackle onboard. The vessel was stopped after it attempted to evade the officer. Officer Carroll discovered the vessel was returning from the Bahamas and conducted an investigation He discovered 30 grouper filets with no skin attached, 16 tuna filets, 5 conch shells, 32 conch, 1 common purple sea fan, 1 piece of coral, 1 marlin head and tail, 18 lobster out of season, 31 hogfish filets with no skin attached, and 6 wahoo filets with no skin attached. The lobster was hidden under chum blocks in a deep freezer onboard the vessel. The 3 men on board were arrested and booked into Martin County Jail for the violations.

Officer Carroll and Officer Rogers stopped a commercial fishing vessel at Sandsprit Park and saw several fish not on ice. Their investigation determined the fish were going to be sold and issued the subject a quality control citation.

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

Investigator Patterson filed charges with the Okeechobee State Attorney’s Office which closed out a year-long investigation into the private lands collection of alligator eggs. The case was closed with charges being brought against two subjects for the illegal collection of alligator eggs and failure to verify the nest survey.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Alford and Officer Crosby responded to a report of a monkey attack at Home Depot. Upon arrival, they learned that a spider monkey was left unattended in a vehicle. The monkey got out and was roaming the parking lot. An employee attempted to lead the monkey into the store by the leash that was around its neck. The monkey bit and scratched the employee while she was attempting to lead it inside. The owner was located, and it was determined she did have a license to possess the spider monkey. Further investigation revealed a similar incident occurred at this same location a week prior, but was not reported. During that incident, the owner brought the monkey inside the store, where it scratched the cashier while checking out. An inspection of the caging was performed at the facility where the monkey resides and numerous deficiencies were noted there as well. Six misdemeanor citations, one infraction, and two warnings were issued for the incidents and facility inspection.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Langley was on vessel patrol in the intracoastal-waterway near Spanish River Park when he saw a large vessel almost strike two kayakers. He approached the kayakers and made sure they were okay then conducted a vessel stop on the boat. The operator was cited accordingly.

Officer Schroer and Officer Rogers conducted a fisheries inspection on a vessel transiting from the Bahamas to Florida. During the inspection, Officer Schroer found the captain of the vessel to be in possession of two gallon sized plastic bags filled with fish fillets that had no skin left intact. The captain said the bags contained mutton snapper and hog snapper fillets. When transiting from the Bahamas to Florida by boat, recreational harvesters may transport their daily Florida bag limit of fish fillets from dolphin, wahoo, snapper or grouper if the skin remains intact for identification. The captain of the vessel was cited for being in possession of snapper fillets with no skin intact while transiting from the Bahamas to Florida.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Howell responded to the report of the illegal possession of a baby raccoon. A local police agency was on scene for a separate incident and noticed the raccoon. Investigator Howell took possession of the raccoon and issued warnings for the illegal possession and related violations. The raccoon was turned over to a licensed facility.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Investigator Patterson saw a vehicle driving very slowly. As the vehicle passed him, the operator had a blank stare on his face. He initiated a traffic stop on the subject who did not use his turn signal when turning into a fish house. Seeing signs of impairment, he asked the subject to perform field sobriety tasks. The subject did very poorly on the tasks. He arrested the subject for driving under the influence and requested a drug recognition expert to meet him at the jail. After an evaluation was performed, the drug recognition expert (DRE) determined that he was under the influence of three various categories of illegal and prescription drugs.

Officer Miano was on park patrol at the Fort Pierce Inlet State Park when she saw a vehicle parked near a popular fishing spot. Officer Miano began to walk towards the fishing area. She encountered a subject walking briskly in the opposite direction, carrying a snook in one hand and a zip lock bag and a fishing pole in the other. An inspection revealed the snook to be of legal harvest size measuring 29 inches long. The zip lock bag however contained two small snook fillets. The subject was cited for possession of snook not in whole condition and over the bag limit of snook. The fish was seized as evidence.

HENDRY COUNTY

Captive Wildlife Investigator Alford and Officer Krasco responded to a complaint regarding the illegal discharge of oil. The officers identified the location and found it was discharged into a drainage canal on a county easement. Officers Allen and Madsen arrived to assist on scene. The suspect confessed that he had been spilling used motor oil behind his residence for years. A Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Emergency Response Team (ERT) arrived to assess the contamination of the water and soil. The suspect was issued a misdemeanor citation for illegally discharging used oil. Further investigation by Environmental Investigator Booth revealed the subject was operating a commercial mechanic operation from his residence, making the illegal dumping a felony. After consulting with the State Attorney’s Office, felony charges were filed for the illegal dumping of used motor oil from a commercial entity.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
GLADES COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol when he received a call regarding an alligator on a soccer field in Clewiston. Upon arrival, a seven-foot alligator was on the field with many children nearby. Officer Brodbeck captured the alligator and placed it in the bed of his patrol truck. Due to the alligator not showing a fear of people, the alligator was transferred to a licensed nuisance alligator trapper.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

A concerned citizen called FWC Dispatch because her niece had brought a baby gopher tortoise home with her from Ocala. Officer Mann immediately retrieved the tortoise and transferred it to Officers Kirkland and Hudson who brought it to Gopher Tortoise Conservation Biologist King for observation.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Investigator Stiffler, K-9 Officer Martir-Negron and Officer Cosculluela assisted with an investigation of a suspect offering to sell a pair of Florida box turtles. The suspect offered to sell the turtles to an undercover investigator. The suspect was issued a warning for selling wildlife without a license and relinquished ownership of the turtles. The turtles were taken to a private holding facility.

Several officers and trainees conducted operation “Buckle up” in Oleta River State Park to ensure operators and passengers in vehicles entering and exiting the park complied with safety restraint laws. The detail resulted in two felony charges and one misdemeanor charge for narcotics, two misdemeanor charges for DWLS and one misdemeanor charge for no driver’s license. Over fifty infractions were issued for violations ranging from speeding to no seatbelt. Due to the proactive presence there were no reported vehicle burglaries.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Smith responded to a Vervet monkey that was reported at a local school. There is an established population of non-native Vervet monkeys in the Dania Beach area. This particular monkey had roamed well away from the established colony and there were public safety concerns with it visiting school grounds. Investigator Smith was able to successfully capture the monkey using chemical immobilization equipment. The monkey was transferred to a licensed facility.

MONROE COUNTY

Officers Conrad and Garcia were on water patrol near Whale Harbor. Officer Garcia received a call from a United States Coast Guard vessel regarding a possible impaired operator. The officers responded and began a boating under the influence investigation. The operator was not found to be impaired, but a vessel occupant was found to be in possession of a green, leafy substance that later tested positive for cannabis. The subject was charged with possession of cannabis under 20 grams, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia. Another occupant of the vessel was issued a warning for being a minor in possession of alcohol.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Araujo and McVaney were performing resource inspections on incoming boats at Caxambas Pass Park when they saw 4 subjects loading a boat on a trailer. When the officers contacted the subjects, they saw several fishing poles and spearfishing gear. The officers asked to inspect the catch and discovered two out of season, undersized triggerfish and one over the slot limit barracuda. The subjects were charged accordingly.

A concerned citizen contacted FWC Miami Dispatch regarding possible snook poaching in Naples. The caller saw a subject catch a large snook, wrap the fish in a shirt, place the fish in a bucket and then place the bucket inside a vehicle. The caller provided dispatch with a description of the subject, the vehicle, and the license plate. Officer Arbogast was notified of the possible violation. Based on the information provided, he found an address for the possible poacher. When he arrived at the address he saw a vehicle matching the description in the driveway. He also saw a subject standing in the garage and what was clearly an oversized snook on the ground. Officer Arbogast contacted the subject, and post Miranda, the subject admitted to knowing the season and size limits for snook. The fish was seized as evidence and the subject was cited accordingly.

Officer Plussa was conducting patrol in Naples when he saw four subjects cast netting a storm canal. Two subjects were actively using the net and placing harvested fish into a bucket. When Officer Plussa approached and announced an inspection, the four subjects attempted to flee and one began throwing fish from the bucket back into the water. All four subjects were detained and the inspection of the bucket revealed a undersized and out-of-season snook, undersized snapper, multiple black bass and panfish – all illegally taken by cast net. The subjects were arrested and booked into the Collier County Jail with seven misdemeanors for the fisheries violation and an additional charge of interference with an FWC officer.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Arbogast, Curbelo, and Araujo attended the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Youth Safety Fair at the Collier County Charter Academy, along with members of FWC’s bear and panther biology staff. The officers brought a UTV and explained to children and parents FWC’s responsibilities in Collier County as well as the different equipment utilized in daily operations.

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  FWC Enforcement Report May 25-31. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 06-13-2018, 01:19 PM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
BAY COUNTY

Officers T. Basford and N. Basford were patrolling in St. Andrews Bay and stopped a vessel to conduct a resource inspection. The operator showed signs of being impaired. After the officers completed the resource inspection, the operator was administered field sobriety tasks. The operator was taken into custody after completing the field sobriety tasks for suspicion of BUI. Breath alcohol samples were provided and returned .138 and .129. The operator was booked into the Bay County Jail for BUI.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officers Clark and Long contacted a subject who had no life jacket in a kayak on the Intercoastal Waterway under the Theo Baars Bridge. Officer Clark instructed the kayaker to come ashore to speak with him on the proper safety equipment needed to safely operate on the waters of the state. The subject refused, turned and started to paddle away. Officer Clark entered the water and grabbed the kayak to prevent the subject from escaping. While addressing the violations, Officer Clark could smell a strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. He also noticed his eyes were very bloodshot and glassy. He asked the operator if he had been drinking and he advised he had. He also stated that he was not intoxicated and that he had mostly smoked marijuana. Officer Clark conducted field sobriety tasks on the subject to determine if he was impaired. The subject was subsequently arrested for BUI and transported to the Escambia County Jail where he provided a breath sample of .079 and .084. Officer Long conducted an inventory on the kayak and discovered 6.6 grams of cannabis along with paraphernalia. A criminal background check conducted by FWC dispatch revealed the subject had at least four previous convictions for DUI of drugs or alcohol, making this BUI arrest a felony charge. The subject was also cited for possession of cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia, and interference with an FWC officer.

Lieutenant Hahr was patrolling the Escambia River when he saw a vessel returning to the dock with several people on onboard. While conducting a safety inspection, he saw indicators of impairment from the operator. Lieutenant Hahr conducted field sobriety tasks on the operator to determine if the operator was impaired. After completion of the field sobriety tasks, Lieutenant Hahr arrested the operator for BUI of drugs or alcohol. The operator refused to submit to a breath test and was booked into the Escambia County Jail.

While conducting saltwater fisheries inspections on the Pensacola Bay Bridge, Officer Pettey found a subject to be in possession of over the daily bag limit of mangrove snapper. The subject had nine mangrove snapper, four over his daily bag limit. Four of the nine mangrove snapper were under the legal-size limit of ten inches. The subject was issued a citation for over the bag limit and a written warning for undersized mangrove snapper.

Officer Allgood saw a subject driving a vehicle erratically on Interstate 10 in Pensacola. Officer Allgood activated his lights and siren and attempted to stop the vehicle. The subject initially did not stop and slowly exited the interstate. After about a mile, the subject eventually stopped at a residence that was not his. Officer Allgood had the subject exit his vehicle. He initially did not comply with the officer’s orders. Officer Allgood ordered the subject on the ground and he eventually complied. The subject was taking into custody and was cited for DUI of drugs or alcohol and felony fleeing and eluding.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Travis and Kossey were working an oyster detail around the Cat Point Oyster Bar. They saw a vessel with one person onboard actively harvesting oysters. They pulled alongside the vessel to conduct a resource inspection. They retrieved a bag of oysters from the vessel and measured and counted each oyster. The oysters in the bag were 70% undersized. The subject was cited and 251 undersized oysters were returned to the water alive.

Officers Travis and Kossey were working an oyster detail in the Eastpoint Area. They saw a vessel with two people onboard returning from harvesting oysters and stopped the vessel for a resource inspection. They located two bags of untagged oysters onboard the vessel. Both subjects were cited and two bags of oysters were returned to the water alive.

Officer Pestka was working an oyster detail in the Eastpoint Area. She saw a vessel returning from harvesting and stopped it to conduct a resource inspection. Officer Pestka inspected a bag of oysters found onboard the vessel. After counting and measuring each oyster, she determined the bag contained 46% undersized oysters. She cited one subject and seized 260 undersized oysters. The undersized oysters were returned to the water alive.

Officer Peterson and Reserve Officer Martin were working an oyster detail in the Eastpoint Area. They saw a vessel returning from harvesting oysters and stopped it to conduct a resource inspection. Officers Peterson and Martin inspected a bag of oysters found onboard the vessel. After counting and measuring each oyster, they determined the bag contained 72% undersized oysters. Officer Peterson cited one subject and seized 306 undersized oysters. The undersized oysters were returned to the water alive.

GULF COUNTY

Officers M. Webb, H. Webb and Gerber conducted a fisheries and boating safety inspection on a vessel returning from offshore fishing. The operator showed signs of being impaired and was administered field sobriety tasks. He was subsequently placed under arrest for suspicion of BUI. Breath alcohol samples were provided and returned .102 and .101. The operator was booked into Gulf County Jail for BUI.

Officers M. Webb, H. Webb and Gerber conducted a boating safety inspection while patrolling St. Joe Bay, near the tip of Cape San Blas. During the inspection, the operator displayed signs of being impaired. After completing the inspection, the operator was administered field sobriety tasks. The operator was placed under arrest for BUI and booked into the Gulf County Jail.

HOLMES COUNTY

Officer Yates and Gore received information that an alligator was harvested, including details of the individual responsible. The ensuing investigation revealed the subject killed a 3-foot alligator. The appropriate charges were filed with the State Attorney’s Office for the violation.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Pifer, Officer Letcher and Lieutenant Clark were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Crab Island area in Destin during the Memorial Day weekend. A 20-foot runabout vessel was stopped, and during the safety inspection, the officers saw several open containers of beer on the boat. The inspection revealed there were insufficient number of life jackets on the boat for all occupants. It was determined that all occupants were under the legal age of 21 to possess/consume alcohol. The boat operator was issued a notice to appear citation and a citation for insufficient number of life jackets.

Officer Corbin and Major Duval were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Crab Island area in Destin during the Memorial Day weekend. The officers saw a paddleboat being operated by a female on the west side of Crab Island without a lifejacket or sound producing device onboard. Officer Corbin contacted the operator and determined the paddleboard was rented. The officers instructed the operator to return to the livery so she could be issued a life jacket and whistle. The officers followed the operator back to the location of the livery and spoke with the employee who rented the paddleboard. When asked, the employee stated that she had forgotten to issue the renter the required safety gear. The employee was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Corbin and Major Duval were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and resource inspections in the Destin Harbor during the Memorial Day Weekend. The officers saw a PWC displaying improper registration numbers. The PWC had a current Alabama registration decal with partial Florida registration numbers displayed on the starboard side and only letters displayed on the port side. The operator had owned the PWC for eight years. The safety inspection revealed that the fire extinguisher was not charged and there was no sound producing device. The PWC had a cooler and a rod and reel. The fisheries inspection revealed that the operator had harvested a red snapper. The season for red snapper is closed. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation for possession of red snapper during closed season. He was also issued a citation for improper display of vessel registration and warnings for the other safety violations.

Officers Corbin and Wilkenson were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Crab Island area in Destin during the Memorial Day Weekend. The officers saw two jet skis being operated on the south side of Crab Island without registration numbers displayed. The officers stopped both jet skis and conducted a boating safety inspection. Both operators were following their father who was operating a runabout vessel just ahead of them. They explained that their father was the registered owner. While speaking with the father, it was determined he failed to title both jet skis in his name within 30 days of purchase. It was determined the jet skis were purchased in September 2017. The owner was issued a notice to appear citation.

While patrolling during Subtropical Storm Alberto, Officer Corbin saw fresh tire tracks leading into the Eglin Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The officer followed the tracks and saw where a vehicle had spun out and damaged management lands. Officer Corbin located the vehicle and saw two individuals in the truck. Neither individual possessed the required recreational user permits to access Eglin WMA. Throughout the officer’s investigation, the driver was very nervous. Officer Corbin could smell the distinct scent of burnt cannabis. The driver admitted that there was cannabis in the truck. The driver was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Wilkenson responded to a single vessel boating accident that occurred in the Destin Pass. The vessel involved was a PWC and the operator was transported with non-life-threatening injuries to a local hospital. An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s marine deputy at the hospital obtained the operator’s contact information and a written statement. The PWC involved was a livery jet ski. The operator of the jet ski was an employee of the livery. The investigation revealed the operator was jumping waves in the Destin Pass. The maneuver caused her jet ski to twist and land on its side. Upon impact with the water, she was ejected off the PWC. The operator struck her head on the ski and briefly lost consciousness. A fellow employee skiing with her was close enough to respond and pulled her to safety. The operator also had some water in her lungs. The operator was issued a citation for careless operation.

WAKULLA COUNTY

Officers Hughes and Korade were conducting vessel patrol near St. Marks during the Memorial Day weekend when they stopped a vessel to conduct a boating safety and resource inspection. The two occupants of the vessel told the officers they had caught seven spotted sea trout. Measurements of the fish revealed that four of the trout were undersized. Citations were issued to both subjects and the four-undersized trout were seized.

Officers Hughes and Korade were on patrol conducting welfare checks before the arrival of Subtropical Storm Alberto when they noticed a vehicle stuck in a ditch on the side of the road and an individual trying to pull it out. They stopped to determine if he needed assistance. During the encounter, the subject displayed multiple signs of impairment. The subject stated that he had been consuming alcohol and was driving home when he swerved into the ditch to avoid an alligator. The subject refused to perform field sobriety tasks, but the officers determined that enough probable cause existed for arrest. The subject was transported to the Wakulla County Jail and cited for DUI, refusal to submit to breath test and driving with a suspended license.

WALTON COUNTY

Officers Letcher and Tison were checking subjects fishing along the shoreline of Choctawhatchee Bay and conducted a fisheries inspection which revealed one of the subjects had an undersized redfish in his bucket. The subject was cited for the violation.

Officers Brooks, Tison, and Bradshaw responded to a golf course in Freeport after learning three golfers were bitten by a fox. The officers located the fox and turned it over to the Walton County Health Department for rabies testing. All three individuals were treated at a local hospital and released.

FEDERAL WATERS

Officers Cushing and Land were on a multi-day trip aboard the offshore patrol vessel NW FINCAT. They saw a state charter “six pack” vessel in state waters in the Gulf of Mexico with seven persons actively fishing. A state citation was issued for not having the proper charter license. The following day on the return trip, Officer Land boarded a fishing vessel that was currently under charter in federal waters. The vessel did not have a federal gulf reef fish permit. The appropriate actions were taken for the violation.

Officers Cushing and Land were on patrol aboard the offshore patrol vessel NW FINCAT. They approached a large privately-owned sport fishing vessel in federal waters. The officers saw fish being dumped overboard and recovered one cold red snapper. The captain admitted to having the fish in a bucket of ice. He stated that they intended on cooking and eating the fish. The appropriate action was taken for harvesting red snapper in closed season.

Officer Cushing and Land were on patrol aboard the offshore patrol vessel NW FINCAT. They conducted a marine fisheries inspection of a federally permitted charter vessel that was on a “fun trip” with family in federal waters. Officer Land discovered two undersized gray triggerfish. The appropriate actions were taken for the violation. Later that day, the officers saw persons onboard a recreational fishing vessel in Florida waters of the Gulf of Mexico actively fishing. Officer Cushing initiated a conversation with the operator. He admitted to having a red snapper onboard. Officer Land located and verified the snapper in a cooler. A state citation was issued to the operator for harvesting red snapper during closed season.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Sauls and Richardson targeted speeding violations in the bird nesting zone of St. George Island State Park. The officers issued five citations and 11 written warnings for subjects speeding through shorebird nesting zone.

WASHINGTON COUNTY

A multi-agency targeted enforcement detail was conducted on Holmes Creek at Cypress Springs. The patrol efforts centered on public and boating safety due to the congested waterway and numerous complaints from the public. The officers arrested two individuals for BUI, two individuals under 21 years of age for possession of alcohol, issued eight infractions and 17 written warnings. Approximately 51 vessels were inspected and 70 users checked.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
BAY COUNTY

Officer Basford and Reserve Officer Cooper responded to a medical call on Shell Island. An individual was walking a paddleboard through the rough surf when a wave caught the board, causing it to strike him in the head. The individual complained of head and neck pain. The officers transported EMS from the Panama City Marina to the island and the subject was placed on a backboard. He was then transported back to the city marina where EMS took him to Bay Medical Hospital.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officer Maltais presented a “Summer Safety Stand Down” presentation to the Navy/Marine Corps F-35 Fighter Squadron called “Grim Reapers.” The presentation centered on hurricane season, safe boating, distracted driving, and outdoor recreational activities to include state parks and beaches and the dangers of rip currents/warning flags. It was estimated that 240 military personnel attended.

HOLMES COUNTY

Officers Greene and Yates participated in the Bethlehem High School End of School Year Block Party. The officers used marked patrol units along with a vessel as a static display. Other agencies and local partners participated in the event centered on a career day outreach event. There were approximately 150 educational contacts with students and many more in attendance.


NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
CITRUS COUNTY

Officer Browning was returning from training when he saw a vehicle operating erratically and running vehicles off the road. Officer Browning turned around to stop the vehicle but the driver fled at a high rate of speed. The vehicle crashed on the side of the highway and the driver fled on foot. Officer Browning pursued the subject on foot and made an arrest in a nearby field. The subject was booked into the county jail for driving under the influence, possession of cocaine, fleeing and eluding and driving on a suspended license.

Citrus County Officers worked a detail focusing on blue crab violations. The detail resulted in two FWC citations, seven boating citations, and 54 written warnings.

Officer Ulrich was on patrol when he checked a subject that was in possession of two undersized red drum and snook out of season. The subject was issued a citation for the snook and warnings for the red drum.

Environmental Investigator Starling received a complaint regarding the storage of waste tires at a residence located in Floral City. The defendant had been storing waste tires at an unpermitted facility and was issued a written warning in November 2017 regarding the violation. Recently Investigator Starling received another complaint regarding the property and it was determined the defendant had failed to remove the tires. Approximately 450 waste tires were stored at a private residence in violation of FSS 403.161(1)(b) FAC 62-711.400(4)(a). Investigator Starling issued a resource citation.

DUVAL COUNTY

Officers Christmas, McGregor and Sweat along with Lieutenant Wright worked a resource and safety inspection near Wayne B. Stevens ramp located in Duval County. A subject operating a vessel approached the ramp as Officer Sweat and Lieutenant Wright were dealing with a separate subject for a safety violation. There were four ramps at this location, three of which were not being used. The operator approaching the ramp started screaming for everyone to move and get out of his way. The operator was informed the subjects near one of the four ramps were FWC officers and they were dealing with a violation. The operator got furious and started to scream louder, insulting everyone nearby including FWC. He then started videoing himself as he screamed and cursed everyone near this location. Officer Christmas saw this subject attempt to load his vessel onto a trailer and almost hit a passenger who had gotten out of the boat to assist him. After the vessel was loaded, Officer Christmas went over to speak to the operator regarding his careless operation and to conduct a safety inspection. The operator showed signs of impairment, was read his Miranda rights, and asked to perform field sobriety exercises. The operator performed poorly on the exercises was arrested for BUI. He was transported to the Duval County Jail where breath samples provided a .115 and .113. Appropriate citations and law enforcement action was taken for the violations.

Officers Christmas and McGregor were working resource and safety inspections at Jim King Boat Ramp located in Duval County when they contacted a subject who just came in from fishing. Officer Christmas spoke with the operator after he loaded his vessel and saw signs of impairment. The subject had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath, his eyes were bloodshot and watery and his speech was slurred when he spoke. He was also very unsteady on his feet. Officer Christmas read the subject his rights and requested that he perform field sobriety exercises. The subject performed poorly on the exercises and was arrested for BUI. He was booked at the Duval County Jail where he refused to provide a breath sample.

Officers Sweat and Christmas were on water patrol at the Sister’s Creek Manatee Zone. Officer Sweat saw a vessel in violation of the slow speed zone. He stopped the vessel and detected signs of impairment as he spoke to the operator. Field sobriety tasks were conducted at the Jim King Boat Ramp and the operator performed poorly. He was transported to the Duval County Jail where he submitted breath samples of 0.093/0.093.

A Jacksonville national tire business contacted FWC for assistance after approximately 150 waste tires were illegally dumped behind their business over the past 2 months costing the business nearly $500 in disposal fees. Environmental Investigators Terrones, Starling and Delgado conducted after hours surveillance of the business and apprehend two different suspects that dumped tires. Both were issued appropriate citations.

TAYLOR COUNTY

Officers Dasher, Albritton and Wilder were patrolling in federal waters offshore Taylor County. The officers saw a vessel coming in and stopped the vessel. During a resource inspection officers located 7 gag grouper in the vessel’s cooler. Gag grouper season is currently closed in federal waters. Officer Albritton seized the gouper and issued the appropriate criminal citations to the captain of the vessel.

Officers Albritton and Dasher were working a trespass complaint around Blue Springs Lake at Keaton Beach when the officers saw a parked vehicle at the entrance of the rolloff site at the end of Blue Springs Lake Road. When the driver of the vehicle saw the officers, he tried to drive away. The officers stopped the vehicle and found the driver to be driving with a suspended driver’s license, second offense. Officer Dasher issued the appropriate criminal citation.

Officers Albritton and Dasher worked a trespass complaint based on information they received from Four Rivers Land and Timber. The officers followed ATV tracks to a residence in Keaton Beach. During the investigation, the officers located two subjects and gained post Miranda confessions for trespass. The officers will be direct filing the appropriate criminal charges for trespass.

Lieutenant Guy was fishing with his family in the Big Bend WMA Hickory Mound Impoundment when he saw several subjects catching undersized red drum. Lieutenant Guy left the impoundment and called Investigator McMillan. Investigator McMillan in plain clothes watched the subjects until Lieutenant Guy could return to the impoundment on duty. Once at the scene, Investigator McMillan told Lieutenant Guy that he saw the subjects placing an undersized red fish behind the seat of their vehicle. Lieutenant Guy conducted a resource inspection and located an undersized red fish in their cooler and an undersized red fish under the vehicle seat in a plastic bag. The subject was issued a citation. Lieutenant Guy located two other subjects nearby with red fish violations. One subject was found in possession of an oversized red fish and the second with an undersized red fish. Both subjects were issued criminal citations.

Lieutenant Guy saw a vehicle weaving on Cow Creek Grade of Four Rivers Timber Company. The driver stopped in the road and was staggering and trying to change clothes. Lieutenant Guy contacted the driver who appeared to be extremely intoxicated and had vomited all over the interior of his vehicle. Field sobriety exercises were conducted and the driver was placed under arrest for DUI. The driver refused a breath test and was booked into the Taylor County Jail.

Officer Colasanti was on patrol during Subtropical Storm Alberto on Hwy 98, approximately two miles west of Cow Creek Grade. He discovered a single vehicle accident where a vehicle hydroplaned into a telephone pole. The subject was traveling home during the storm and lost control of the vehicle. Being first on scene, he began to treat the subject for injuries sustained during the accident. The subject had a broken leg, multiple lacerations on his arms, and a head injury.

Officer Johnston was patrolling Ichetucknee State Park and encountered several subjects consuming alcoholic beverages and one subject smoking a dab pen containing THC oil. After interviewing and conducting his investigation, Officer Johnston cited one subject for possession of drug paraphernalia and another subject for consuming alcohol by a person under 21 years of age. Several other infractions were issued to others present for consumption of alcohol within a state park. The drug paraphernalia was seized and transported to the FWC Lake City Regional Office evidence compound.

SUWANNEE COUNTY

Lieutenant Humphries and Officers Boone, Ransom, Vazquez and Davenport were targeting boating under the influence at the confluence of the Santa Fe and Suwannee Rivers. Officer Ransom conducted a boating safety check on a vessel where the operator displayed several signs of impairment. Further investigation determined that the operator was boating under the influence. The operator was arrested and transported to the Suwannee County Jail.

Officer Ransom received a complaint of illegal artifact digging on state park property. While conducting the investigation two suspects were located and provided written statements of digging on state property. Officer Ransom while conducting a consensual search of the associated vehicle discovered a shotgun with no serial number that was seized as evidence for further processing. The appropriate charges will be filed with the state attorney for further prosecution.

Lieutenant Humphries, Officer Davenport and Boone responded to a boating accident on the Suwannee River. The operator of a vessel hit a wake which threw the operator from the vessel. The vessel continued to run until it hit the nearby bank where it came to rest. The operator suffered no injuries and the boat had minor damage. The operator was given the associated paperwork to file reference the boating accident.

LEVY COUNTY

Officer Starling was on patrol in Goethe State Forest during a special opportunity hog hunt. He spoke with two men driving a pickup truck with a dog box and hog dogs. The two men stated that they had got back in the vehicle from attempting to catch a hog just several minutes before and were going to attempt to find another location to try to catch a hog before they went home. Officer Starling told the men that the special opportunity hog hunt had ended one and a half hours earlier and that they were hunting past the legal time. Each received a citation for hunting during a period closed to hunting.

Officer Starling was on patrol in Goethe State Forest during the special opportunity hog hunt. He saw two men standing around two pickup trucks with several dogs. Officer Starling informed the men that the legal time to hunt began one and half hours after sunset and that they were hunting 47 minutes before legal time. Each was issued a citation for hunting during periods closed to hunting.

Officer Fox was on land patrol in Cedar Key and saw an SUV with two occupants towing a vessel trailer without a tag and no working trailer lights. He stopped the SUV and the driver said they had been commercially harvesting oysters. Officer Fox conducted a resource inspection of the oysters and found 29% of them to be under the legal-size limit. A check of the subject’s information revealed that the passenger had an active warrant. Officer Fox placed him under arrest and transported him to the Levy County Jail. The driver was cited for the traffic violations and issued a citation for possession of over the maximum tolerance of undersized oysters.

Officers Willis, Wells and Johnston were dispatched to the Highway 40 boat ramp, Yankeetown, on a complaint of six men stealing crabs from commercial blue crab traps near the islands adjacent to the boat ramp. When they arrived on scene witnesses identified the persons responsible for the trap theft. Officers Johnston and Willis spoke with the suspects about the complaint. The men admitted to having taken crabs from the commercial traps. One of the men had marijuana in his vehicle which was in plain view. The man did not have a medical prescription for the marijuana. That subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. The trap robbing charges were direct filed through the Levy County State Attorney’s Office felony division.

Officer Wells was dispatched to assist Cedar Key Police Department about a traffic stop on the number 3 bridge in Cedar Key. Officer Wells arrived on scene and spoke with the Cedar Key Police officer and the detained subjects. The subjects had been harvesting oysters after sunset and had approximately 22 bags (by volume) of oysters in their vessel, unbagged, unculled, and untagged. Oysters cannot be harvested after sunset, must be culled at the harvest location, and must be properly tagged as to harvest location and time. The oysters were also lying in the bottom of the vessel, not separated from spilled fuel and bilge water. Oysters must be kept free of any contaminant while harvesting and processing for public health reasons. Lieutenant Umhoefer arrived on scene to assist Officer Wells. The officers cited the subjects for harvest of oysters during period closed to harvest, quality control violations, and tagging violations.

Officer Willis was on patrol in the Goethe State Forest during the Special Opportunity Hog Hunt when he saw a red pickup truck and a black pickup with dog boxes and dogs parked on the side of the road. Three male subjects were on the side of the road holding a flashlight towards the ground, indicative of hog sign tracking. Officer Willis asked when the group was hunting and they said that they hunted around 15 minutes ago. Officer Starling arrived on scene and spoke with the group of subjects. He asked them if they knew what the legal time was for the hog hunt, and they said that they thought it was sundown. Officer Willis explained that the legal hunting time was one and a half hours after sundown until one and a half hours before sunrise. He told them that they were hunting almost two hours before legal hunting hours. Each of the three was issued misdemeanor citations for hunting during periods closed to hunting.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
COLUMBIA COUNTY

Officers assigned to the Florida Folk Festival responded to a report of a lost hiker on the Florida Trail. The hiker left from Stephen Foster State Park, headed west, and got mixed up on which way to go back to his vehicle. After a brief search utilizing agency UTVs the hiker was located and made his way back to the state park and his vehicle.

Lieutenant Douglas and Officers McDonald and Yates responded to a distressed veteran, who called the veteran suicide hotline advising of doing possible harm to himself. The officers responded to the Osceola National Forest along with Columbia County Sheriff’s Office deputies, located the veteran and brought him back to the Deep Creek Community Center.

LAFAYETTE COUNTY

Officer Boone and Davenport, along with the Lafayette County Sheriff Office, responded to a search and rescue for two lost subjects reportedly missing for several hours. Both officers responded to the location and located the subjects in a nearby swamp.

Lieutenant Humphries and Officer Ransom responded to a drowning in the Suwannee River near Telford Springs. Working closely with Suwannee County Sheriff’s Office, they provided vessel support along with crowd control. The missing person was located and the family was notified.

MADISON COUNTY

Officer Vazquez responded to a boating accident on Cherry Lake in which a boat with nine people aboard ran into a dock. The vessel was a complete loss, however all nine occupants escaped the accident with no injuries. The boating accident is under investigation and the appropriate paperwork will be filed.

Lieutenant Humphries, Investigator McMillan, and Officers Ransom and Nichols responded to a complaint of a missing subject on the Withlacoochee River. The missing subject had decided to float down the river on a blow-up raft and did not arrive at the predetermined designation to be picked up. After checking several boat ramps, associated properties along the river, and maneuvering a vessel through shallow waters the subject was located and safely reunited with family.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
MARION COUNTY

Officers Berry and Dias were patrolling in the Ocala Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Halfmoon Lake when they saw a suspicious vehicle pulled off in the woods. When they approached the vehicle, they saw an individual sitting in the driver’s seat. While talking to the individual, the officer’s saw sifters, shovels and a wagon in the bed of the truck. Further investigation revealed the driver’s floorboard was full of flint flakes and artifacts. The individual stated he was waiting for a friend to return from the woods. A short time later a second individual exited the woods, saw the officer’s and returned to the woods. Officer Berry made contact and a records check revealed the individual had active warrants out of Marion County. Post Miranda the individual stated they were looking for a place to dig artifacts, but had not been digging. The officers backtracked to individual’s foot sign down a freshly cut trail to the edge of the lake, but no fresh digging was found. Officer Berry placed the individual under arrest for the active warrants.

PUTNAM COUNTY

Officer Mason was on patrol at the Palatka City Docks when he conducted a fisheries inspection. It was found that a male subject was in possession of a red drum that was 30-inches in length. The subject was cited for possessing a red drum over the slot size of 27 inches.

Officer Guirate and the Palatka Police Department responded to a sexual assault and false imprisonment complaint at Ravine Gardens State Park. While in route to the call, Palatka PD saw a subject matching the description in the area. The subject was positively identified by the victim and was taken into custody.

Putnam County units responded to a UTV crash with entrapment that occurred at Dunn’s Creek State Park. One female subject died in route to the hospital and two other female subjects received minor injuries. The Florida Highway Patrol worked the crash as a traffic homicide.

Lieutenant Dickson and Officer Guirate responded to Etoniah State Forest about a hit and run traffic crash involving forest service property. Upon finding parts left on scene, both units canvassed the area and developed a suspect. The suspect and vehicle were located approximately four miles away. The driver was issued a criminal traffic citation for leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.

ORANGE COUNTY

While on patrol Officer Hastings saw a subject fishing with a cast net in a pond near downtown Orlando. The individual stated he did not possess a freshwater fishing license and was fishing for Tilapia. Officer Hastings conducted a resource inspection of the subjects catch found him to be in possession of two bluegill, five redear sunfish, and two largemouth bass. The subject admitted to catching the panfish. The subject was issued a citation for taking gamefish by illegal method.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officers Malicoat and Pelzel were checking subjects at the south jetty in New Smyrna Beach when an adult male was found to be in possession of an out of slot size snook and other fisheries violations. He was issued a criminal notice to appear for the snook violation.

Officers Edson and Bellville were on water patrol on the St. Johns River when they stopped a vessel for improper display of registration numbers. During the stop the officers detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the operator and saw signs of impairment. The operator admitted to drinking four or five beers. Officer Edson began to administer seated field sobriety exercises. During the investigation an intoxicated male passenger in the boat with the operator became verbally abusive and belligerent. His conduct made it impossible for Officer Edson to conduct his boating under the influence (BUI) investigation. After numerous warnings, Officer Bellville arrested the passenger for interference with an FWC officer. The BUI investigation was concluded and Officer Edson determined that the operator’s normal faculties were impaired. He was arrested for BUI and transported to the Volusia County Jail, along with the passenger. The operator refused to provide a breath sample.

Officers Sapp and Vanas were performing resource inspections in Ormond Beach when they encountered a man fishing under the Granada Bridge in possession of two redfish that were less than 11-inches in length. The man was issued a warning for no saltwater shoreline permit and a citation for possession of undersized redfish.

ST. JOHNS COUNTY

Officers Thomas and Lawrence were on late night water patrol in the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) in central St. Johns County. The two officers remained on water patrol several hours after all-day rains chased most of the boaters off the water by 8 p.m. Around 11 p.m., the officers contacted a vessel operated by a man with two women passengers. The boating party had just left a local waterfront restaurant after visiting another one just north on the ICW a couple of hours earlier. Officer Lawrence saw signs of impairment from the operator and conducted the afloat battery of Standardized Field Sobriety Tasks (SFSTs). Following the completion of the SFSTs, Officer Lawrence arrested the man on suspicion of operating a vessel while impaired.

Officer Harris, acting on a tip from Volusia County and Duval County FWC officers, ventured offshore in very rough seas with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Enforcement Officer Boots to contact a Louisiana shrimper fishing in state waters off of south St. Johns County. Shrimping is closed in state waters during the months of April and May in northeast Florida. Officers Harris and Boots boarded the shrimper 1.9 nautical miles offshore and directed him into St. Augustine Inlet and Matanzas Bay to inspect his Turtle Excluder Devices (TEDs) in the calmer waters. Officer Lawrence and Lieutenant Zukowsky met with Officers Harris and Boots to assist with the inspection. Following the inspection, Officer Harris cited the captain for the state violation of shrimping in state waters during the two-month closure and Officer Boots issued the captain warnings for a few TED rigging violations which the shrimper corrected on the spot.

OSCEOLA COUNTY

Officers Mendelson and Presser conducted water patrol on West Lake Toho for Memorial Day. While conducting a resource and boating inspection, one subject was found to be in possession of five black bass. All five-fish measured over 16-inches. The fish were photographed and returned to the water alive. The individual was issued a notice to appear in Osceola County for over the size limit of black bass.

FWC officers responded to a UTV crash inside Three Lakes Wildlife Management Area that resulted in one fatality and multiple injuries. Osceola County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) also responded to the scene. FHP Traffic Homicide Investigators are conducting the investigation.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
CHARLOTTE COUNTY

While on water patrol near the Placida Boat Ramp, Lieutenant Frantz and Captain Carpenter saw a boat with several people on board pulling up to the dock. When they attempted to contact the operator and passengers to conduct a boating safety inspection, everyone ignored them. Only after Lieutenant Frantz loudly announced their presence did the operator give them his attention. During the inspection, the operator displayed several signs of acute impairment. Investigator Cooke arrived to assist. During the boating under the influence investigation, the operator refused to perform any of the standardized field sobriety tasks. Investigator Cooke arrested him and booked him in to the Charlotte County Detention Center for operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or chemical or controlled substances.

HARDEE COUNTY

While on night patrol, Officer Cloud and Officer Geeraerts spotted a pickup truck traveling slowly down County Road 663 in south Hardee County while a passenger was shining a spotlight out of the side window. Officers Cloud and Geeraerts conducted a traffic stop after following the truck for over a mile. Five males were in the front cab and six dogs in cages in the bed of the truck. All the dogs had GPS tracking collars and a few were outfitted with cut vests. Three of the passengers in the truck had GPS receivers. One of the passengers in the back seat admitted to shining the spotlight out of the window. When Officer Geeraerts asked them what they were doing, the driver replied they had permission to hunt on private property, but were hunting for hogs as they drove to the property. All five occupants were given a notice to appear for hunting off of the roadway.

HIGHLANDS COUNTY

Officers DeWeese and Rarick were on airboat patrol on Lake Istokpoga. The officers saw a vessel operating at an unsafe speed and conducted a stop and vessel safety inspection. During the inspection the officers saw signs of vessel operator impairment. The officers conducted field sobriety tasks/tests upon the operator and arrested and transported the operator to the Highlands County Jail for boating under the influence. The operator was also issued three infractions for vessel safety violations.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

Lieutenant Holcomb and Officer Wise conducted a fisheries inspection on an individual fishing in the Palm River. The individual was in possession of four red drum, two of which were under the lawful size limit. The subject admitted to catching all four of the red drum. He was cited for possession of undersized red drum and possession of red drum over the daily bag limit.

Officers Wilkins and Godfrey were on water patrol near downtown Tampa. They saw a vessel without proper navigation lights operating with its spotlight on, blinding other boaters. The officers initiated a stop to address the issues and immediately noticed signs of impairment from the operator, shot glasses strewn about the vessel, and that two of the passengers were passed out in the vessel. Officer Godfrey conducted seated field sobriety exercises with the operator who performed poorly and was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI). The operator was also found to have marijuana cigarettes in his pocket and was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for BUI and refusal to submit urine for testing.

Officers Wilkins and Martinez were on water patrol near Culbreath Isles in Tampa when they saw a vessel violating the speed zone. The officers noticed the operator slurring his words, falling over when he attempted to retrieve safety equipment, and other signs of impairment. Officer Wilkins conducted seated field sobriety exercises with the operator who performed poorly and was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI). The operator was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for BUI and submitted a breath sample of .22 breath alcohol content, over twice the legal limit.

LEE COUNTY

Officer Price was on patrol when he saw several people fishing from a vessel which was tied up to the railroad tracks on the Caloosahatchee River. As he approached, one of the men reached into a hatch and pulled out a small snook and tried to toss it overboard. Officer Price told the man to put the fish back in the boat. The snook was measured and found to be less than twenty-inches long. When asked about the fish, the man admitted he caught it earlier in the day. He was issued two misdemeanor citations for possessing an undersized and out-of-season snook.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officers Dalton, Davidson and Gonzales were on water patrol around Long Boat Key near Jew Fish Key. While on patrol, they stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel that was transiting near the key. While conducting the boating safety inspection, it appeared to the officers that the operator of the vessel was under the influence of alcohol. After a boating under the influence (BUI) investigation by Officer Gonzales, the operator was arrested and taken to jail for BUI and will have to appear in court for his violation.

Officers Dalton, Klobuchar and Rivard were on water patrol around Long Boat Key. While on patrol they stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel that was operating near the key. While going through the boating safety inspection, it appeared to the officers that the operator of the vessel was under influence of alcohol. After an investigation by Officer Rivard, the operator was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and taken to jail. The operator was also cited for a felony because he had been arrested several other times for driving and BUI in the past. He will have to appear in court for his violation.

Captain Carpenter, Lieutenant Hinds, Officers Gonzales and Davidson were on water patrol around Long Boat near Jew Fish Key. While on patrol they stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel that was operating nearby the key. While going through the boating safety inspection, it appeared to the officers that the operator of the vessel was under influence of alcohol and looked as if he were under age twenty-one. After an investigation by Officer Gonzales, the operator was charged for .02 violation which is the legal threshold limit for a juvenile’s breath alcohol content. The vessel operator was also charged for possession of alcohol by a minor and will have to appear in court for his violations.

PASCO COUNTY

While on land patrol at the Anclote Boat Ramp, Officer Ferguson stopped a vessel to conduct a boating safety inspection and resource inspection. After completing the safety inspection, Officer Ferguson asked if there were any fish on board and was told about some bait fish by the vessel captain. Officer Ferguson saw larger fish in a live-well and asked to inspect the fish. At the conclusion of his inspection, Officer Ferguson found three red drum, one of which was over the legal size. The captain of the vessel was subsequently cited for possession of an oversized red drum.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on land patrol in Pinellas County, Officer Guerin saw an individual in the mangroves that appeared to be cleaning a fish. He approached the subject and identified himself as a Fish and Wildlife Officer. The subject was in the process of filleting a 14-inch gag grouper. The individual was cited for possession of an undersized gag grouper and possession of gag grouper during closed season.

While on water patrol in Pinellas County, Officers Caldwell and Pettifer conducted a resource inspection on a vessel displaying a dive flag. The officers checked several legal fish onboard. During the inspection, the officers noticed a dead gag grouper floating near the vessel. They retrieved the grouper and found puncture wounds near the gills. One of the individuals admitted to spearing the fish. He was cited for the violation of taking gag grouper during the closed season.

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Pettifer conducted a resource inspection on an individual fishing. During the inspection, he discovered the individual to be in possession of eight undersize mangrove snapper. The man was issued a citation for possession of undersize mangrove snapper.

While on patrol near Indian Rocks Beach Officer Pettifer conducted a resource inspection. Through the course of the inspection, Officer Pettifer discovered an individual to be in possession of a snook during closed season. He was cited for the violation.

While on water patrol near John’s Pass, Officer Martinez stopped a vessel for a boating safety inspection and immediately noticed signs of impairment from the operator. The operator had difficulty following instructions and completing a boating safety inspection with Officer Martinez. Officer Martinez began seated field sobriety exercises with the operator who performed poorly. The subject was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and booked into the Pinellas County Jail for BUI and refusal to submit a sample of his breath.

While on land patrol at the Courtney Campbell Causeway Bridge, Lieutenant Van Trees approached two men and saw a snook by their belongings. Before the men could see Lieutenant Van Trees approaching, he hid underneath the bridge and waited for someone to take possession of the fish. After waiting for approximately thirty minutes, one of the subjects walked over to the snook, grabbed it and began to walk away. Lieutenant Van Trees stopped the subject and began a resource inspection. After Lieutenant Van Trees read the men their Miranda Rights, one subject admitted to catching the undersized and out of season snook and was cited accordingly for his violations.

POLK COUNTY

Officer Karr was on patrol when a saw a truck parked approximately 200 feet off the road on commercial private property off Agricola Mine Road. As Officer Karr approached the truck, he saw three males standing behind the truck near a boat ramp. Officer Karr asked the men if they had permission to be on the property. Officer Karr also noticed a monofilament cast net and a blue bucket near the men. One of the men replied they did not have permission to be on the property. None of the men could produce valid identification. Since none of the men could produce identification, they were all arrested for trespassing and taken to the Polk County Jail.

Officer Adams saw a vehicle in Babson Park passing another car in a no-passing zone. A computer check through dispatch revealed that the driver had an active warrant in Polk County for failure to appear for a petit theft charge. The subject was arrested and booked into the Polk County Jail.

While conducting water patrol on Lake Hatchineha, Officers DeWeese, Rarick, Earls, and Sweat saw an airboat with men fishing from it near a water structure on the south side of the lake. Officer DeWeese and Rarick conducted a resource inspection. Their inspection revealed one of the subjects to be in possession of twelve black bass. The officers seized the illegal fish and issued the subject a resource citation for over the bag limit of black bass and over the slot size for black bass. The subject was also issued an infraction for a PFD violation.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
PASCO COUNTY

Officer Martinez, Officer Pulaski, and Lieutenant Parisoe conducted a joint resource operation with the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO). The officers and PCSO deputies targeted the commercial bait shrimp harvesters in Pasco County. The teams inspected numerous vessels on the water and dockside. The inspections resulted in arrests for narcotics violations and outstanding warrants.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
BROWARD COUNTY

While on patrol in western Broward County, Officer Tarr and Officer Cornell stopped an individual fishing near the S8 pump station for a resource inspection. While Officer Cornell was conducting the resource inspection, Officer Tarr could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from a vehicle near the suspect. The suspect advised Officer Cornell and Officer Tarr that the vehicle was his and that he had a “jar” of marijuana in the vehicle. A search of the vehicle produced over 20 grams of marijuana, marijuana brownies, and various drug paraphernalia items. The subject was also in possession of small baggies and a scale which further indicated his intent to sell the marijuana. The subject was arrested and booked into the Broward county jail for felony and misdemeanor charges.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Corteguera concluded an investigation into a subject selling wildlife online. One subject was found to be in possession a baby raccoon illegally taken from the wild. The raccoon was seized and taken to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. Five criminal citations and two infractions were issued to the subject for the illegal possession and related violations.

GLADES COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was conducting surveillance at the Indian Prairie Canal. After several hours, a vessel approached the ramp with a single occupant and fishing equipment in plain view. Officer Brodbeck conducted a resource inspection and asked the vessel operator if he had any fish on board. The subject pointed to a blue cooler located on the bow of the vessel. Upon inspecting the contents of the cooler, 89 bluegill were discovered. The daily limit for all panfish is 50 per person per day. The subject was issued a notice to appear (citation) for violation of the daily bag limit for panfish, as well as two warnings for boating safety violations.

Officer Brodbeck was at the Sportsman’s Canal boat ramp conducting boating safety and resource inspections when he saw a vehicle with three occupants pull into the parking area, see the marked patrol vehicle, and quickly depart. After completing the resource inspections, the officer departed in the same direction and found the vehicle parked in a strange location. Officer Brodbeck attempted to make contact but the vehicle again left the area. When checked through law enforcement databases, the tag on the vehicle came back assigned to a homemade trailer. A traffic stop was initiated to address the violation. The driver of the vehicle was found to have a suspended driver’s license, and neither passenger had a valid driver’s license. The driver of the vehicle was issued misdemeanor traffic citations for driving while license suspended and tag not assigned, as well as an infraction for no insurance. The vehicle was towed and the tag seized.

HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Keen and Officer Brodbeck were on water patrol on the Caloosahatchee River during the Memorial Day weekend when they initiated a vessel stop to conduct a boating safety inspection. The operator of the vessel showed signs of impairment and Officer Brodbeck asked the operator if he would be willing to perform seated field sobriety tasks. The subject refused and was placed under arrest for BUI. The subject was transported to jail.

MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Hudson and Officer Kirkland were patrolling the Cypress Creek Natural Area when they noticed evidence that a vehicle had driven through a closed gate where no vehicles are allowed. They entered onto the South Florida Water Management District land and followed the tire tracks through the thick grass and old orange groves and found two vehicles. One vehicle was stuck in the mud and the other was trying to pull it out. The drivers were cited accordingly for violating the special use license that allows vehicular access to certain areas of the property and for driving in a closed area.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Webb saw a vehicle with no tail lights in the Corbett WMA at night. During the vehicle stop he detected an odor of cannabis coming from the vehicle. A search of vehicle revealed a plastic bag containing cannabis. The driver was released on his own recognizance after being cited for possession of cannabis under 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia. The subject was also issued a citation for no tail lights after the officer learned the subject had been warned for not having tail lights the previous week by another law enforcement agency.

While conducting land based freshwater fisheries patrol, Officer Morrow and Officer Pecko saw a vehicle trespassing on the Palm Beach County Pine Glades natural area. Upon approaching the vehicle, the officers saw fishing equipment in the bed of the truck and determined it was unoccupied. The officers then conducted foot patrol of the area and located the subject engaged in fishing. Once the contact was made with the subject, he was issued a misdemeanor citation for fishing in a closed area.

Officer Pecko was on vessel patrol in the Jupiter Inlet. Upon conducting a fisheries inspection on a vessel, four undersized mahi were found in a cooler. The subjects were cited accordingly.

Lieutenant Hankinson and Officer Spradling responded to a complaint involving three subjects illegally cast netting freshwater game fish. Upon arrival, Lieutenant Hankinson conducted a fisheries inspection and found several red ear sunfish in their possession. Once the subjects were identified, it was discovered that one of them had a warrant for his arrest. Lieutenant Hankinson and Officer Spradling apprehended the subject and booked him into Palm Beach County Jail. All subjects were cited for not having a valid freshwater fishing license.

Officer Schroer conducted a fisheries inspection on a vessel that returned from offshore. During the inspection, Officer Schroer found the captain of the vessel to be in possession of three king mackerel. In the Atlantic, each person is subject to a bag limit of two king mackerel per day. Officer Schroer then conducted a vessel safety inspection. The captain of the vessel was unable to produce serviceable visual distress signals (flares). The captain of the vessel was cited for being in possession of over the daily bag limit of King Mackerel and was issued a warning for not having serviceable flares aboard the vessel.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Investigator Turner, Officer Irwin and Officer Arnold were on vessel patrol when they saw a group operating personal watercraft near Jaycee Park. The area is a designated swimming area that included numerous adults and children. One of the personal water craft was operating dangerously close to the swimmers. Investigator Turner charged one the operators with operating a vessel in a reckless manner. The operator was transported and booked into the St. Lucie County Jail.

Officer Shermetaro was on land patrol at the Bear Point Sanctuary when he saw a parked vehicle with a large cast net near the back of the vehicle. He then saw three individuals wading in the water with a cooler, a bucket, and a cast net. After contacting the individuals, Officer Shermetaro conducted a license and resource inspection. The inspection revealed oysters in the cooler and bucket. He then asked if they had any other fish in the vehicle. The individuals opened the vehicle and pulled out a large cooler of fish and two buckets of oysters. Inside the cooler was an undetermined amount of mullet, an undersized snook and an undersized sheepshead. After counting the mullet, the three individuals were found to be 54 mullet over their bag limit. The subjects had no fishing licenses or snook permits. Two of the subjects did not have any form of ID. Contact was made with the Sheriff’s Office to provide use of a rapid ID device. While conducting a rapid ID, two of the subjects came back with different names than they had provided from previous arrests. Both subjects were booked into jail for providing false names, possession of undersize snook and undersize sheepshead, illegal method of take (snook), harvesting oysters from unclassified area, and over the bag limit mullet. The third subject was also cited for the violations and then released.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
MARTIN COUNTY

Officers responded to a vehicle that went into a canal in the Hungryland WEA. The driver said a deer jumped out in front of him and he swerved to miss the deer and lost control of the vehicle. The vehicle hit a tree and went into the canal. The driver and passenger escaped and safely make it to land.

Officers Merizio, Morrow, Pecko, and Lieutenant Filip responded to the Hungryland WEA about a vehicle in a canal. Upon arrival, Filip located a car nearly fully submerged in the canal. All subjects freed themselves from the vehicle and were uninjured.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers responded to a boating accident in Lake Osbourne over the holiday weekend. Two PWCs collided head-on, which caused injury to one operator. The victim was air lifted to a nearby trauma hospital and is expected to recover.

Officers were in the area when a call was received that a Jeep was stuck and taking on water in Corbett. When officers arrived, they found a family with small children in a stock style Jeep swamped in a buggy hole. They assisted with recovering the occupants from the vehicle. During this time of year, it is illegal to be off certain designated roads in the WMA. Also, with the extensive rains that the area has received over the past weeks, many places are underwater. The driver of the Jeep was issued a citation.

Officers Merizio and Norbrothen, along with Investigators Booth and Warren and pilots Perez and Simons, were dispatched to a call of stranded motorists inside the Corbett Wildlife Management Area (WMA). The motorist had sunk his vehicle on a closed trail and could not drive out. Using GPS pings from the caller’s cellphone, officers found the motorist and escorted the subjects to safety. The driver was issued a citation for operating his vehicle off a named/numbered road in violation of Corbett WMA rules.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Lieutenant Hankinson and Officer Schroer responded to an injured loggerhead sea turtle near Coral Cove Park in Jupiter. As a team effort with the Loggerhead Marine Life Center and Good Samaritans, the large sea turtle was carried to a rescue van. Loggerhead Marine Life Center transported the sea turtle to their facility for evaluation.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Morrow conducted patrol of mooring fields and anchorages throughout Martin County to identify possible “at-risk” vessels in the area prior to hurricane season. Multiple violations were located and nine citations for “at risk” vessels and registration decal violations were issued.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

While on routine patrol under the Julia Tuttle Bridge Officer Gomez noticed a subject carrying fishing rods and other fishing gear. He contacted the subject just as he was loading his gear into the vehicle. While conducting a fisheries inspection Officer Gomez found a white bucket with fish. The bucket contained one grunt, three mangrove snapper, and four mutton snapper. After measuring the fish, the subject was found to be in possession of two undersized mangrove snapper and four undersized mutton snapper. Officer Gomez educated and cited the subject accordingly.

Officers Delgado and Sample were on nighttime water patrol near Haulover Inlet during the Memorial Day weekend. Nearby Subtropical Storm Alberto had created unpleasant boating conditions. The officers encountered a vessel with a non-serviceable navigation light and initiated a vessel stop. While alongside, the officers noticed the vessel operator was displaying signs of impairment. Field sobriety tasks were administered and the operator was arrested for boating under the influence. When taken to a nearby US Coast Guard station and asked to provide a breath sample, the defendant refused. In addition to being jailed for BUI, the defendant was issued a $500 citation for the breath sample refusal.

That same evening, Officers Sarmiento and Cartaya were at Homestead Bayfront Park boat ramp when they saw a vehicle pulling a vessel and trailer from the water. The driver towed the vessel/trailer to some nearby trash cans but in doing so, he struck one of the cans, toppling it over. The officers then watched the driver and his companions throw trash and alcohol bottles from inside the vessel toward other trash cans – missing them most of the time. No effort was made to pick up the trash from the ground. The driver pulled the vessel/trailer to a nearby wash-down station where the officers approached the driver to address the littering issue. The officers detected signs of impairment and initiated field sobriety tasks. Based upon the poor results, the driver was arrested for DUI and taken to a nearby police station for a breath test. The defendant’s test results were .12 and .10, over the legal limit of .08. In addition to being cited for DUI, the defendant was also cited for careless driving and littering and was transported to the local jail.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Smith successfully captured a Muntjac deer using chemical immobilization equipment. The investigation revealed that during a recent storm, a tree fell on the enclosure which led to the escape of four Muntjac deer. The owner of the deer, who was properly licensed to possess them, captured three of them. Investigator Smith was contacted to capture the fourth and the deer was returned to its owner. A warning was issued for the escape.

MONROE COUNTY

Officers Wagner and Rubenstein were on land patrol in the Mi

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  Scallops
Posted by: surfman - 06-12-2018, 11:41 AM - Forum: Saltwater Fishing - Replies (4)

All this rain has turned the water black again in the Hatch, I hope it doesn't ***** up the scalloping again this year. Water is black in Dead Man Bay. Sad

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  FWC Enforcement Report May 18-24. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 06-07-2018, 10:40 AM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officer Manning received information that an individual caught a large oversized red drum and put it in his vehicle at the Fort Pickens Pier. Officer Manning got a detailed vehicle description and contacted a ranger with the National Park Service. The ranger stopped the individual while he was trying to exit the park. Officer Manning arrived and the individual was found in possession of a 35-inch red drum. The legal slot size is from 18 to 27 inches. The individual was issued a notice to appear citation for the violation.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officers Pifer and Corbin were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and resource protection in the Destin Pass. The officers saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying fishing gear. During the boating safety stop, the officers determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed three undersized gray triggerfish. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Corbin received a complaint of a derelict vessel in the Santa Rosa Sound near the complainant’s residence. The officer located a pontoon boat and documented that the boat does not have a means of propulsion and is substantially dismantled because it does not have a motor, helm (steering), or any seats. The vessel does not have a battery or any means to remove water (bilge pump). The vessel’s registration expired 6/30/2014 and the boat did not have the required navigational light present at night. Officer Corbin located the registered owner from the vessel’s registration. The owner was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Corbin was on land patrol conducting resource protection in the Fort Walton Beach area. The officer saw two individuals with fishing gear exit from their vehicle, enter an area posted as no trespassing, and begin to fish. At about 1:00 a.m., Officer Corbin saw one of the individuals catch a fish, return to the truck, and place it in the cooler. When the individual returned to the fishing spot, Officer Corbin approached their location to conduct a fisheries inspection. Both individuals did not a have a saltwater fishing license. Further, Officer Corbin saw open bottles of beer. Both individuals were under 21 years of age. They were cited for the violations and issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Corbin was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and resource protection in the Destin Pass. The officer saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying rods and reels. Officer Corbin contacted the vessel’s operator and determined they were headed into the Destin Harbor to dock. The officer followed the vessel to the dock. Officer Corbin saw that the vessel displayed an expired Florida registration (January 2017). During the boating safety inspection, the officer determined that the operator was not the owner listed on the registration. The operator provided a bill of sale showing he purchased the vessel in 2015. The operator was cited and issued a notice to appear citation for failure to transfer title within 30 days from purchase.

Officer Corbin was on land patrol conducting resource protection at the Destin Bridge. The officer saw two individuals walking away from underneath the bridge with rods and reels and a cooler. Further, the officer saw what appeared to be a red drum tail sticking out of the cooler. The inspection of the cooler revealed an oversized red drum. Officer Corbin issued a citation for the violation.

Officers Pifer and Corbin were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and resource protection in the Destin Pass. The officers saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying rods and reels. During the safety inspection, the officers determined the operator purchased the vessel on 3/31/2018. The operator/owner failed to transfer the vessel’s title within 30 days. The owner was cited and issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Jarvis received a call from U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) about a 911 call they received regarding a boat that ran soft aground on the beach just west of the West Jetties near the Destin Pass. The caller said that the operator who ran the vessel aground was highly intoxicated. Officer Maltais responded with the USCG by boat and Officer Jarvis responded by land through the Eglin Beach Park. Contact was made with the operator and passenger. Both were removed safely from the vessel and transported to USCG Station Destin. Officer Jarvis’ initial contact with the operator indicated signs of impairment. The operator performed field sobriety tasks which showed indicators of impairment. The operator was arrested for BUI. The operator provided a breath sample resulting in a 0.220 and 0.230. The subject was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Ramos, along with U.S. Coast Guard and a Pensacola Fire Rescue vessel, responded to a single vessel boating accident in Pensacola Bay. A family of four attempted to cross the rough bay in a small 14-foot boat when a large wave swamped the boat, sinking it. The two adults, four-year old, and nine-month old entered the extremely choppy water. Approximately 25 minutes later, a Good Samaritan saw the distressed swimmers and maneuvered his catamaran to rescue the family. He, along with guests onboard, retrieved the four persons from the water. The two children were wearing Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s), the 9-month-old was not breathing when taken out of the water. The Good Samaritan administered CPR on the infant and placed a distress call on his marine radio. A recovery vessel assisted by getting the distressed swimmers from the catamaran to a nearby dock where several EMS crews were standing by. The mother and baby were admitted to the hospital and released a few hours later.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
NASSAU COUNTY

Lieutenant Bridwell and Officer Griffis were preparing for water patrol in Duval County when dispatch relayed a complaint of a fight with a gun at “the sandbar” on the St. Mary’s River in Nassau County. Lieutenant Bridwell and Officer Griffis responded with lights and sirens, picking up Officer Griffis’ patrol vessel. They launched from Scott’s Landing Boat Ramp accompanied by Nassau County Deputies Smith and Cone. FWC Officers Gilmore, Hayes, Mandrick and Lentz also responded to help. An update came in that the subject involved with the fight left the sandbar and was operating his vessel towards Scott’s Landing Boat Ramp. The subject was identified by information provided and was stopped. During the vessel stop, the subject showed signs of impairment. Officer Griffis conducted field sobriety tests and determined the operator was impaired. During the stop, another Nassau County Sheriff’s Office vessel went to “the sandbar,” where, based upon interviews, they determined a gun was not brandished but the fight occurred between the subject and another individual who did not want to press charges. The subject was arrested for boating under the influence and booked into the Nassau County Jail where he provided a breath sample of 0.109 and 0.107.

DUVAL COUNTY

Officer Christmas was on routine patrol when he contacted a subject fishing on railroad property located in Duval County. A resource inspection of his catch revealed one undersized red drum and 10 undersized black drum. The subject was issued citations for undersized red drum, undersized black drum, over the bag limit of black drum, trespass on railroad property and not having a valid fishing license. The fish were seized and photographed.

CLAY COUNTY

Lieutenant Wright and Officer Shearer responded to a call concerning an out-of-control vessel cutting circles on plane in Julington Creek. The vessel traveled four miles through three counties before striking the shore, ramping 20 feet into the air and landing in the backyard of a residence. The operator had been doing “donuts” in Julington Creek when he was ejected from the 25-foot twin engine boat. Since he wasn’t wearing a engine cut-off lanyard, the boat continued without him and was found with the throttles in the wide-open position at the scene of the crash. The operator was arrested at the scene for boating under the influence with property damage and provided a breath sample of .210 BAC.

COLUMBIA COUNTY

Officers McDonald and Nichols investigated a wildlife alert tip about an individual who killed an alligator in a private pond and posed with it on Facebook. The officers went to the individual’s residence and contacted his girlfriend. She advised he killed the alligator with a garden tool she retrieved from a shed and then took pictures of them posing with the dead alligator. She volunteered to show the officers photos of the dead alligator. Later that day, Officer McDonald met with the subject who admitted to killing the 3-foot alligator. Charges for possession of alligator will be direct filed with the State Attorney’s Office.

TAYLOR COUNTY

Officer Albritton while on patrol was performing resource inspections near the Econfina River. During an inspection, a subject was found in possession of five spotted sea trout, with four undersized. A citation was issued for the possession of undersized spotted trout.

Officer Wilder and Albritton were on offshore patrol in federal waters, targeting gag grouper in closed season. Officer Albritton noticed a vessel coming in from federal waters offshore. Both officers made contact with the vessel’s occupants and found five gag grouper during the inspection. The officers seized the fish and the captain of the vessel was cited for possession of gag grouper during the closed season.

Officer Wilder was on was on offshore patrol targeting gag grouper in federal waters. Officer Wilder noticed a vessel about three miles into federal waters and contacted the occupants on board. Officer Wilder found three gag grouper with one undersized. The operator was a charter captain currently conducting a trip with customers on board. Officer Wilder seized all three gag grouper and charged the captain of the vessel with possession of gag grouper during the closed season and issued a warning for possession of undersized gag grouper.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
DUVAL COUNTY

Officer Gilmore attended and participated in a community outreach program at Ruth Upson Elementary School. He provided a display of his assigned patrol vehicle, vessel and an alligator. He talked to 438 students and teachers about the mission of the FWC as well as his daily routine and additional duties. He also stressed the importance of wildlife conservation and aspects of living with wildlife such as alligators and bears in Florida.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
LAKE COUNTY

Officers Teal and Phillips investigated the illegal taking of a trophy buck on private lands. After a months-long investigation, which included a search warrant and submission of evidence to FDLE, the subject was arrested on a warrant for the appropriate violations.

Officers Phillips and Shaw investigated an incident involving a gopher tortoise that had been covered in paint and cement. After a thorough canvas of the area, Officer Phillips located, interviewed and received a confession from the subject responsible for the incident. The subject was cited for felony dumping and harassment of a gopher tortoise.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
CHARLOTTE COUNTY

Officers Birchfield and Zampella were working water patrol near Boca Grande Pass. They saw two individuals on land walking back to the Gasparilla Island State Park parking lot carrying a heavy cooler and spear fishing gear. Officer Zampella docked the vessel and Officer Birchfield headed to the parking lot to conduct a resource inspection. The inspection revealed a speared, oversized 40-inch out of season snook. A total of six individuals were found spear fishing illegally within the state park and one did not have a fishing license. Multiple criminal citations were issued for the violations.

DESOTO COUNTY

While on night patrol, Officers Kobs and Karr saw a truck driving slowly on a rural road. As the officers followed the truck they saw spotlights being shined out of the driver side and passenger side windows. After following the truck for several miles, the officers conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Inside the truck were three adults along with three loaded rifles all within reach of the occupants. All three guns were seized and placed in evidence. All three occupants of the truck were given a notice to appear for the display or use of a light in a place where deer might be found and in a manner capable of disclosing the presence of deer, along with the possession of firearms or other weapons customarily used for the taking of deer.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

Officer Martinez was conducting wholesale and retail license inspections in the Tampa Bay area when he discovered a local bait shop was in violation. The owner did not have the necessary paperwork as required by law and was cited for the violation.

While on land patrol in Tampa, Lieutenant Van Trees saw a vehicle parked near a wooded area and believed the occupants were fishing a small pond on private property. Lieutenant Van Trees searched the area and found no one fishing but did hear people talking in the woods nearby. After waiting and watching three subjects converse at an illegal camp they had set up, Lieutenant Van Trees approached the subjects and investigated why they were trespassing. While dealing with the subjects, he discovered two of the subjects had outstanding warrants. He also discovered one subject to be in possession of methamphetamine and the other two subjects had drug paraphernalia that tested positive for methamphetamine residue. All three subjects were booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for warrants and drug charges.

LEE COUNTY

Lieutenant Ruggiero and Officer Furbay saw a vehicle driving in a management area around 2:00 a.m. The vehicle traveled down a road and went out of sight. Lieutenant Ruggiero later located the vehicle and called Officers Perry and Grey who were field training in the area. When the officers approached the vehicle, they turned on their flashlights and saw two people sleeping in the back of the vehicle. The officers woke the people up, and explained to them that they were not allowed in the management area after hours, and that camping was not permitted. The driver was issued a citation for driving off-road and the passenger was issued a citation for being in the management area after hours. Both subjects were issued warnings for not possessing a valid daily use permit.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officer Davidson was on land patrol near King Fish Boat Ramp. While on patrol he noticed a group of people fishing around the ramp. He performed a fisheries inspection to see if they had caught anything and to see if they had fishing licenses. During the inspection Officer Davidson discovered that one of the men had his fishing privileges suspended and could not legally fish. Officer Davidson cited the man criminally and he will appear in court for the violation.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on patrol at the Anclote Boat Ramp Officer Pettifer conducted a resource inspection of a vessel. Officer Pettifer inspected a compartment with legal grunts, then opened a second compartment and saw several triggerfish. Three of the fish inspected were undersized. The individual was issued a citation for possession of undersized triggerfish.

Officer Hughes and Lieutenant Wells were on patrol off the coast of Pinellas County. The officers plotted a course to a popular offshore reef consisting of two large sunken vessels. The officers inspected several boats in the area. Officer Hughes boarded one of the vessels and located five American red snapper. The captain was cited for possession of red snapper during the closed season and undersized red snapper. On the way back to port the officers located another vessel actively fishing offshore. Lieutenant Wells boarded the vessel and inspected the coolers which were full of legal fish. Lieutenant Wells asked if there were any more fish on the vessel and both occupants said “no.” Lieutenant Wells removed a hatch in the stern of the vessel and located two gag grouper in the bilge. Gag grouper are currently closed to harvest and possession. The captain was cited for possession of gag grouper during the closed season.

Officers Phillippi and Ferguson were working at night and decided to check a South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) property where they had been getting numerous complaints about people trespassing to fish. When the officers approached the area, they saw two subjects who had illegally entered an area fenced off to the public. Upon contacting the subjects, the officers discovered the men had scaled around the fence to get to a better location to fish for snook. The subjects were cited for the misdemeanor violation.

Officer Martinez was on patrol at Honeymoon Island State Park when his vehicle was almost hit by another vehicle. Officer Martinez quickly backed up to avoid an accident and then stopped the vehicle as it swerved down the road. Upon contacting the driver, Officer Martinez recognized signs of impairment and she was subsequently arrested for DUI. The subject provided a breath sample of .089 and was booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

Officer Martinez was on patrol at the North Skyway Relief Bridge when he approached a subject to conduct a resource inspection. Officer Martinez asked the subject if he had caught anything and he was told no. Upon further inspection, Officer Martinez found a bait bucket that contained an undersized 17-inch gag grouper. Officer Martinez educated the man that gag grouper was out of season and the fish was also too small. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation and a warning for his violations.

Officer Godfrey and Ferguson were on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier when they encountered a subject who stated he didn’t have any fish and had just begun fishing. Officer Godfrey saw another subject staring intently at the officers as they spoke with the man and approached him. The Good Samaritan told Officer Godfrey that the man they just spoke with kept an undersized gag grouper, although he was told by the Good Samaritan it was against the law to do so. Officer Godfrey walked back over to the subject they had first encountered and pressed him on having any fish. It was discovered that the man had hidden an undersized and out of season gag grouper. The subject was cited for his misdemeanor violations.

SARASOTA COUNTY

Officer Dalton was on land patrol around Bay Front Park. While on patrol he found two men seine net fishing from the shoreline in the park. Officer Dalton performed a fisheries inspection and found that the men were using a seine net that was not marked with their information as required by law. Officer Dalton cited the men criminally for fishing with an unmarked seine net and they will appear in court for the violation.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
LEE COUNTY

Officer Stapleton attended the open house at the United States Coast Guard Station in Fort Myers Beach and spoke with over 200 boaters about boating safety issues heading into the upcoming holiday weekend. He also answered questions and provided materials to boaters to help spread the message for National Safe Boating Week.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Keen and Officer Brodbeck were on water patrol on the Caloosahatchee River when they saw two subjects fishing at a weir. Seeing the officers approaching, one subject quickly reeled in his line and got into his boat. The second subject began to reel his line in as Officer Keen dropped Officer Brodbeck off on a nearby shoreline. As the first subject was attempting to pull start the vessel, the officers gave loud verbal commands for both subjects to stop. Officer Brodbeck detained both subjects for officer safety until Officer Keen secured the patrol vessel and arrived on scene. Both subjects were issued warnings for trespassing on private property and the subject who attempted to flee received multiple boating safety and resource citations and warnings.

MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Kirkland received a tip about multiple individuals throwing a cast net in a pond and keeping all types of fish. Upon arrival, the individuals stated that they did not have any fish. After a brief search, they were found in possession of black bass and black crappie, among other nongame fish. The individual throwing the cast net admitted to catching and keeping all the fish and was cited for taking freshwater gamefish by illegal method.

Officer McLeod and Officer Rogers were conducting fisheries inspections at the Stuart Causeway. Both officers contacted a subject and noticed that he had five stone crabs. Officer McLeod explained that four of the five were undersized and that it is unlawful to harvest stone crabs in whole condition without a licensed permit. The violation also occurred during closed season. The subject was issued three resource citations and given a court appearance date. The stone crabs were returned to the water.

Officer McLeod received a call about a subject in possession of two gopher tortoises. When he arrived on scene, the subject was in the custody of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office. Officer McLeod issued the subject a notice to appear in court (citation) for possession/take of two gopher tortoises. The subject was then released from custody and both gopher tortoises were returned to the safety of their burrows.

While in the Hungryland WMA, Officers Hudson, Merizio and Kirkland saw multiple vehicles mudding on the state property. All three drivers were issued citations for driving off the designated road.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Webb conducted a vehicle stop in the Corbett WMA due to suspicious and unusual driving patterns that made him believe the driver might be impaired. Upon contact, he detected an odor of an alcoholic beverage from the driver. Standardized field sobriety tasks were administered and the driver was placed in custody for suspicion of DUI. The driver submitted to a lawful test of his breath and blew a .191, more than twice the legal limit. He was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail for DUI.

Officers Nasworth, Zenoniani, Kirkland and Hudson received information from a concerned citizen about two subjects cast-netting at the Canal Point Locks. The officers responded to the area and saw two subjects cast-netting on the lock. Surveillance was conducted and the officers saw the two subjects keeping game fish with the cast net and dumping non-game fish on the ground to waste. Officer Nasworth and Officer Zenoniani attempted to contact the two subjects, at which time one of the subjects fled and chase was given by Officer Nasworth. A short distance later the subject was apprehended and placed into custody. The subject admitted to cast-netting game fish and fleeing upon seeing the officers. The other subject seen by Officer Hudson cast-netting and was issued a notice to appear (citation) for cast-netting game fish. The subject that fled was arrested and taken to the Palm Beach County Jail for resisting without violence, cast-netting game fish, wanton and willful waste and possession of black crappie less than 10 inches.

Officers Brock and Grant and Investigator Coffin were on vessel patrol in the Boca Raton area. They saw a vessel proceeding down the Intracoastal Waterway that looked unusual. The vessel had numerous people in the front area which was causing it to take on water over its deck due to the heavy weight. The officers stopped the vessel for a boating safety inspection and to ensure the vessel was not at risk of sinking. Upon speaking to the operator of the vessel and observing him, Officer Brock administered field sobriety tasks (FST’s) to determine the operator’s impairment. With information gathered, the operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence (BUI) and transported to the Palm Beach County Jail.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Officer Irwin was on patrol working a local spillway when he saw an individual walking towards a vehicle carrying a five-gallon bucket. He contacted the subject and conducted a license and resource inspection. The bucket contained three small snook and a cast net. The subject did not have any fishing rods with him, but Officer Irwin did locate several in the bed of the truck. The subject also did not have a snook permit. The smallest fish was approximately 10.5 inches long while the largest was 22 inches. Snook have a slot size harvest requirement of not less than 28 inches or more than 32 inches to possess. The subject was issued multiple citations for the violations.

BROWARD COUNTY

Captive Wildlife Investigators Corteguera and Alford responded to a complaint regarding the illegal possession and sale of reticulated pythons. This is a highly regulated non-native conditional species of snake. One subject was found to be in possession of two reticulated pythons without the required license. The two snakes were seized and the subject was issued six misdemeanor citations and six warnings for violations regarding the possession and commercialization of the snakes.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Corteguera responded to a complaint regarding the possession of a raccoon without a license. The subject found an orphaned raccoon and brought it to a rehabilitation facility. The facility asked him to release it where he found it in hopes it would be reunited with its mother. He kept the raccoon as a pet instead. Investigator Corteguera seized the raccoon and issued three warnings for the illegal possession and related violations. The raccoon was turned over to a licensed facility.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
BROWARD

Officers Brock and Grant were on vessel patrol in Pompano Beach. Pompano Beach Fire Rescue asked them for assistance with a medical call on a vessel. The officers were able to quickly load the paramedics onto their patrol vessel and respond to Lake Santa Barbara. Once on scene, an individual was taken onboard the patrol boat and quickly transported to shore to an awaiting ambulance.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Morrow, Pecko, Cobo, and Godward, Lt. Fillip, Captain Schaeffer, Major Rondeau, and the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office responded to the JW Corbett Wildlife Management Area, about a group of subjects who were lost and stuck at an unknown location in the management area since the prior evening. They advised that they had no food or water. Utilizing a GPS ping from the callers original 911 call, Duty Officer Muniz identified the subject’s possible location on a map and continued communication with the subjects while officers searched, utilizing specialized equipment, including a swamp buggy and helicopter. After several hours of searching and navigating difficult off-trail conditions, the subjects were located in good health. The subjects were educated on the importance of abiding by management area rules and the driver of the vehicle was issued a citation for operating a vehicle off-trail.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Stone and Sea Turtle Biologist Koperski spoke to the Miami Beach Police Department about ATV use on the beach during nesting season. They explained the impact that certain vehicles can have on the beach and what to look out for during this season.

Officer Merizio assisted FHP with an animal assistance call. FHP received a call about a Red Belly Slider Turtle that was hit by a car on the Florida Turnpike. A Good Samaritan witnessed the turtle get hit and stopped to provide aide. Officer Merizio arrived on scene and took over care of the turtle. The turtle was transported to the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary for treatment and rehabilitation.

Officer Boyd responded to a call about an alligator in the middle of the street in a Boynton Beach neighborhood. When he arrived on scene there were many concerned neighbors and three sheriff’s deputies waiting for help. Officer Boyd utilized agency training to apprehend the alligator and Officer McLeod assisted him in relocating it to a nearby wetland area.

Officer Schroer responded to a caller advising he caught a three-foot alligator that was in his front yard. The homeowner wished to have the alligator removed from the area. Officer Schroer retrieved the alligator and informed the homeowner it is a crime to possess an American Alligator unless you have a permit to do so. The homeowner was encouraged to call the nuisance alligator hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (392-4286) if similar incidents occurred again.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Cobo conducted traffic speed radar enforcement inside Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Martin County during the Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day event. Ensuring the safety of the hundreds of bike enthusiasts was the focus of the detail along with protecting the park’s robust wildlife population. Several citations for unlawful speed in a state park were issued along with warnings for violation of the state’s bike helmet law for children under 16 years of age.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

FWC Officers Saavedra, Gomez, and Padilla were on park patrol in a marked unit conducting a resource inspection in Bill Baggs State Park Pier. The resource inspection revealed the defendant was in possession of one bonefish and one undersized hogfish measuring approximately 11 inches fork length. The defendant had claimed ownership of the red bucket containing the fish. The defendant was issued two misdemeanors and educated on the saltwater fishing regulations.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Smith concluded an investigation into a facility he inspected the previous month. Caging violations and animal welfare issues were documented during the inspection, resulting in two raccoons and two skunks being seized. Four misdemeanor citations were issued for the violations and the animals were placed at a licensed facility. Investigator Diaz assisted on this incident.

MONROE COUNTY

The OPV Trident performed federal fisheries patrol from Key West to Sombrero Reef. While underway, Officer Trueblood and Officer Foell boarded a charter fishing vessel out of Marathon Florida. During the vessel inspection the officers located red snapper inside a cooler. The officers also inspected the vessel’s licenses and permits. The charter vessel was in violation for not having a federal fisheries permit for South Atlantic snapper/grouper. The officers documented the violations and issued citations accordingly for possession of red snapper during closed season and no valid federal fisheries permit.

Officer Petru was on patrol near Carysfort Reef in Key Largo when he saw a cabin vessel coming from offshore with fishing gear visible in the rod holders. Upon conducting a resource inspection of a cooler, Officer Petru found a mutton snapper at the bottom that was fileted and measured approximately 29 inches. The captain was cited for possession of reef fish not in whole condition.

Officer Petru was checking a subject at Islamorada and saw a group that was just actively fishing begin to pack up their gear to leave. Officer Petru approached the group to conduct a resource inspection. Officer Petru conducted a computer search of all the subject’s name and DOB, and one of the men had an active warrant for failure to pay child support. After confirming the warrant and extradition through dispatch the subject was placed under arrest and taken to Plantation Key Jail.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

To kick off safe boating week May 19 - May 25, 2018, Duty Officers Colon, Dunn and Roberson, along with Officers Washington and Albert participated in an outreach event at Bass Pro Shops. They interacted with the public, answering questions about boating safety and helpful resources available.

Officer Washington and Duty Officer Rao gave a presentation for career day and brought exotic wildlife. Using the non-native snakes (Ball/Burmese python), they educated 200+ students about illegal release and threats posed by invasive species, importance of pet amnesty, and selecting pets wisely.

PIC Carol Lyn Parrish did a Facebook live event from aboard a vessel with Officer Washington and Officer Dube. They talked about National Safe Boating Week and how to boat safely, discussing what you need to know when operating a boat, kayak, canoe. Over 5,000 users viewed the event.

MONROE COUNTY

Officers Dube and Steinmetz attended a career day at South Dade Senior High School in Homestead. Officers spent the day in individual classes promoting the FWC on law enforcement and non-law enforcement career opportunities. Officers showed a DVD on the agency along with the FWC’s mission and the requirements to become a FWC officer. Students and staff asked a lot of questions after the presentation and were very interested in FWC career opportunities.

Officer Dube was the guest host on the “Ladies Night Out” radio show at the “Green Turtle Inn” in Islamorada. Officer Dube talked about boating safety tips for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend. While on the show they also talked about dive flag safety and BUI enforcement efforts by FWC and its LE partners.

Officers McKay, Sapp, and Cobb participated in the police memorial ceremony at the Marathon Community Park. FWC officers stood at attention in front of their patrol vehicles along with FHP and Monroe County Sheriff Deputies as the Monroe County Police Explorers and Cadets, along with USCG Color Guard, honored our fallen brothers and sisters. MCSO Sheriff Rick Ramsey personally thanked each of the officers for participating and representing our agency.

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