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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 (3)

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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  FWC Enforcement Report May 11-17. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 06-05-2018, 05:34 PM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - Replies (1)

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
BAY COUNTY

Officer Brady was conducting Joint Enforcement Agency (JEA) patrols when he noticed a vessel with three people on board actively fishing and conducted a resource inspection of the vessel. During the inspection, he found a gag grouper and six gray triggerfish in a cooler. At the time of inspection, gag grouper was closed in both the state and federal waters off Bay County. The captain of the vessel took responsibility and was issued citations for the violations.

Reserve Officer Cooper was conducting JEA patrols near the Panama City Pass when he noticed a vessel with three people on board returning from fishing. He conducted a resource inspection of the vessel and found a cooler in the vessel with a gag grouper inside. At the time of inspection, gag grouper was closed in both the state and federal waters off Bay County. The captain of the vessel took responsibility for the violation and was issued a citation.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

While on patrol in Bayou Chico, Officers Cushing and Land heard a request for law enforcement over the VHF radio. Officer Cushing contacted the complainant who stated that another boater hit his vessel at the fuel dock and continued without stopping. The complainant indicated that the operator may have been drinking. After receiving a detailed description of the vessel and the operator, Officers Land and Cushing saw the vessel underway a few hundred yards away. They followed the vessel to a local marina where the described operator was docking. Officer Land contacted the operator and saw many indicators of possible impairment. He then conducted a BUI investigation and determined that the operator was impaired. The operator was arrested and booked into Escambia County Jail.

Officer Cushing received an electronic complaint regarding subjects landing gag grouper during the closed season. Several FWC officers assisted Officer Cushing to identify the vessel and help track down the subjects in question. Officer Cushing conducted interviews with two of the subjects. One of them admitted to catching and keeping the grouper. He stated that the captain of the vessel identified the fish as black grouper. Appropriate charges were filed for the violation.

Officers Allgood and Manning checked three individuals fishing approximately 12 miles off the Pensacola Pass. An inspection revealed the individuals in possession of two undersized triggerfish. Information was taken and federal citations will be issued for the violation.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Travis and Kossey were on water patrol in the Carrabelle River when they saw a boat tied to the Carrabelle City Dock. The officers conducted a resource inspection on the boat and during the inspection they discovered seven red snapper, two red grouper, and one gag grouper hidden in a compartment in the cuddy cabin. Also during the stop, they located a small amount of cannabis. The officers issued eight misdemeanor citations for various violations.

K-9 Officer Anderson and Officer Richardson were on water patrol in the Carrabelle River when they saw a vessel returning from an offshore fishing trip. They contacted the captain who invited them on board to conduct a resource inspection. During the inspection, they found an undersized red grouper and an undersized gag grouper. The two-undersized grouper were seized as evidence and the subject was cited for the undersized fish, expired registration, and expired flares.

LEON COUNTY

K-9 Officer Anderson was on routine patrol when he saw a Florida Highway Patrol trooper running across Bannerman Road with his taser out. The trooper stated that he just had someone run from him who was involved in a hit and run accident and had an outstanding warrant. Officer Anderson pulled off the road and deployed FWC K-9 Scout in the block of woods where the suspect had fled. K-9 Scout tracked the male subject for approximately 350 yards when a Good Samaritan told them the subject had jumped in a vehicle and left the area. The trooper called the track off and advised that he would issue a warrant for the subject.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Pifer received information regarding an individual attempting to sell red snapper via Facebook. Screen shots of the original posts were obtained and the owner of the Facebook page was identified. During an interview, the owner of the Facebook page admitted to harvesting red snapper during the closed season and then posting the fish for sale on Facebook. The individual did not possess a saltwater products license or a license to retail saltwater products. Charges were filed through the State Attorney’s Office.

Officers Pifer and Corbin were on vessel patrol conducting state fisheries inspections in the Destin Pass when they saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying rods and reels. The officers stopped the vessel and determined it was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed two undersized gray triggerfish. The vessel operator was cited and issued a notice to appear citation.

Officers Jarvis and Maltais monitored the return of a commercial fishing vessel to conduct a federal and state fisheries inspection. The commercial vessel was licensed federally with a Gulf Reef Fish Permit. The permit requires the vessel’s owner/operator to report all landing times and location to law enforcement. The vessel landed at a different location than what was reported, a violation of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The violation was documented accordingly and a National Marine Fisheries Service law enforcement officer will follow up on the reporting and landing violations.

WALTON COUNTY

Officers Tison and Bradshaw were on water patrol when they saw a vessel displaying bright lights into the water in a manner commonly used for gigging and bow fishing. As the officers approached the vessel they saw a subject was bow fishing and he stated he had not had any luck. An inspection of a live well in his vessel revealed a large bass with a hole in it consistent with being shot with an arrow from bow fishing equipment. The subject admitted to shooting the bass and was cited for taking game fish by a prohibited method.

FEDERAL WATERS

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers Kossey, Nelson, and Travis located two vessels near each other and stopped both vessels at the same time. During the stops, officers located six gag grouper on one vessel and two gag grouper on the other vessel during federal closure. The officers took the appropriate action regarding the violations on the two vessels.

While aboard offshore patrol vessel Northwest FINCAT, Officers Cushing and Land were on water patrol in federal waters approximately 17 miles south of the Pensacola Pass. While conducting a marine fisheries inspection of a recreational vessel, Officer Land discovered undersized greater amberjack. The appropriate action was taken for the violation. Soon thereafter, Officer Land was conducting another marine fisheries inspection of a recreational vessel with six persons onboard. He discovered six greater amberjack – five of the six fish were undersized. The appropriate action was taken for the violations.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers Kossey, Nelson, and Travis stopped two vessels within an hour of each other and both vessels and its occupants were found to be in possession of gag grouper during federal closure. The officers took the appropriate action for the violations.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers Kossey, Nelson, and Travis stopped two vessels within a few minutes of each other. The officers located undersized red grouper and gag grouper during federal closure on one of the vessels. The officers located multiple undersized greater amberjack aboard the other vessel. The officers took the appropriate action for the violations aboard the two vessels.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Vigilance, Officers Matechik, Rockwell, and Nelson were on patrol focusing on compliance of Turtle Exclusionary Devices (TEDs). During the patrol south of Franklin County, the officers located and inspected five commercial shrimping vessels with some having significant violations of the legal specifications of the TEDs. The appropriate actions were taken with both warnings and citations for the violations.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers Kossey, Nelson, and Travis located a vessel anchored with multiple people fishing. As the officers approached, one of the individuals tried to remove a cut-up piece of vermillion snapper from his hook that he was using for bait. The officers directed all the individuals to reel their lines up so that the bait could be inspected. One of the individuals stated had a whole vermillion snapper intentionally hooked as bait. The officers took the appropriate action for the violation of using reef fish as bait.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Vigilance, Officers Matechik, Rockwell, and Boyd were on patrol focusing on compliance of Turtle Exclusionary Devices (TEDs). During the patrol south of Franklin County, the officers checked seven commercial shrimp trawling vessels for TED compliance. There were many boating safety, resource violations, and violations for various TED compliance issues. The appropriate action was taken for the violations. A citation for possession of marijuana less than 20 grams was also issued.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers Boyd, Nelson, and Richardson located four different vessels that were in possession of gag grouper during federal closure. The officers took the appropriate action for the violations that were located aboard the four vessels.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers Boyd, Nelson, and Richardson located a large cabin vessel. They circled around the vessel approximately a mile away and approached the vessel from an angle the occupants were less likely to see them approaching. They pulled up to the vessel’s stern and after boarding, located a large plastic bag in an easily accessible compartment on the stern transom. The bag contained a large quantity of fish fillets. An inspection of the fillets revealed a small piece of skin that was consistent with red snapper. An interview of the occupants resulted in statements that they had filleted multiple red snapper and gag grouper and bagged them. The appropriate action was taken for the violations of possession of red snapper and gag grouper during federal closure and for failure to land fish in whole condition.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officers Hughes and Korade were on patrol in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico south of Franklin County. During the patrol, they located four different vessels that were in possession of gag grouper during federal closure. The appropriate actions were taken for the violations.

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Northwest FINCAT, Officers Cushing and Land patrolled multiple days in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. During their patrols, the officers discovered four different vessels with a total of five greater amberjack violations. The violations included size limit and bag limit and the appropriate action was taken.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Rockwell responded to a call from a lost kayaker on the Blackwater River. He talked to the kayaker by cell phone and asked him to describe his surroundings. Officer Rockwell recognized the area by the description, located the man and returned him safely to his vehicle. The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office and Fire and Rescue also assisted with the search.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

While aboard the offshore patrol vessel Northwest FINCAT, the crew responded to the report of a vessel explosion gulf side of Ft. Pickens with people in the water. Once on scene, the crew determined that all persons were accounted for and there were no significant injuries. Three of the five persons onboard were transported by the Northwest FINCAT for medical attention. Officer Land is conducting a boating accident investigation.

WAKULLA COUNTY

Officer Morales was conducting vessel patrol on the Wakulla River near the Mysterious Waters community when he saw an individual floating down the river on a pool float. As he was setting off to check on the subject, a group of people on the dock shouted that the man needed help immediately. Officer Morales could see that the man was showing signs of distress. He arrived and quickly provided aid by throwing two life jackets to the man. The individual was unable to grab or hold onto them. As the man appeared to slip into unconsciousness and go underwater, Officer Morales jumped into the water and swam to the man. He pulled him above the surface and the man regained consciousness and complied with instructions. Officer Morales held the man above water until Officers Hughes and Sauls arrived to help shortly afterwards. Together, they pulled the victim onto a patrol vessel and returned him to the dock where he was evaluated and treated by EMS.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
ALACHUA COUNTY

Officers Reith and Drew were working water patrol on the Santa Fe River near Blue Springs State Park when they saw individuals smoking what appeared to be cannabis. After stopping them on the river, the smell and other items located on the vessel confirmed their suspicions. Citations were issued for less than 20 grams of cannabis. Later the same day, the two officers made an arrest by warrant in the same area.

HAMILTON COUNTY

Officers McDonald and Johnston responded to a report of a boating accident with injury at the Gibson Park boat ramp in Hamilton County.  One subject sustained a knee injury and minor cuts after his vessel struck a rock along the Suwannee River shoreline. The victim was transported to Lake City Medical Center for treatment.  Officer McDonald concluded that one of the contributing factors of the accident was a steering issue with the vessel.  The investigation is ongoing.

CLAY COUNTY

A Keystone Heights resident saw a female cleaning paint brushes and rollers in Gatorbone Lake. A large cloudy area of paint was visible on a good portion of the lake. Environmental Investigators Terrones and Starling interviewed the female and her fiancé and after initially claiming to have hired an unknown painter, they both admitted that the female had cleaned the equipment in the lake since they had no running water at their home. A resource citation was issued for discharging waste to waters of the state.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
PUTNAM COUNTY

Officer Bernard was conducting fisheries inspections at Kenwood Boat Ramp when he contacted two male subjects. Both subjects were in possession of three black bass each that measured over 16 inches. Both subjects were issued criminal citations for possessing more than one bass over 16 inches.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer McKee was on water patrol on the St. Johns River when he saw a vessel violating the idle speed zone. During the stop, Officer McKee saw indicators that led him to believe the operator was impaired. He conducted seated field sobriety tasks on his patrol vessel and subsequently placed the subject under arrest for boating under the influence. The subject provided a breath sample which was above the legal limit. The subject was booked into the Volusia County Jail.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

While on vessel patrol, Officer Matthews conducted a resource inspection on a vessel returning to the boat ramp. During the inspection it was discovered that the men were in possession of two sharks not in whole condition, one undersized spotted seatrout and no fishing license. Citations were issued for the violations.

While on late night patrol, Lieutenant Lightsey saw a vessel returning from drift fishing at Sebastian Inlet. A resource inspection revealed the operator was in possession of one oversized snook. A citation was issued for the violation.

BREVARD COUNTY

While on foot patrol under the Eau Gallie Causeway, Officer Balgo saw an individual fishing on the catwalk. A resource inspection located several undersized mangrove snapper. The individual was issued a citation.

While on foot patrol along the Sebastian River, Officer Balgo saw an individual cast netting. A resource inspection was conducted and the officer located several undersized sheepshead and an undersized black drum. The subject received citations for the violations.

While patrolling the Banana River, Officer Balgo and Investigator Horst saw an individual cast netting along SR528. The officers beached their vessel and approached the individual. A resource inspection located three undersized sheepshead and an undersized spotted sea trout. Citations were issued for the violations.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

Officer Dubose participated in the Indian River County Water Safety Day. He brought a patrol vessel and an alligator and spoke to the children about water safety and living with alligators in Florida. Fifty-six people were in attendance.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
CHARLOTTE COUNTY

Officer Mitchell was on land patrol in a local management area when he came across a man and asked to check his area use permit. The man did not have the required permit to be in the area; however, he had an active warrant for his arrest. Officer Mitchell arrested the man for the outstanding warrant and delivered him to the county jail without incident.

Officer Salem was on patrol when he came across two men near a canal on private property. Officer Salem walked around the side of their vehicle and saw three cast nets and a bucket on the bank of the canal. The men admitted they had caught some fish. After inspecting the bucket, Officer Salem found some brim, a bass, and tilapia. Neither of the men had a fishing license, and Officer Salem educated them on freshwater fishing regulations. Officer Salem issued two infractions for the license violations and warnings for illegal method of catching game fish.

Officers Zampella and Birchfield were on land patrol when they came across three men dragging a dead hog out of a local management area. Hunting season is closed and taking hogs is prohibited. The men were from out of state and said they did research on public hunting land so they could hunt hogs in Florida. The men all had a valid management area permit, but claimed they did not know it was illegal to hunt hogs on the area at that time. Officer Zampella found the men had entered the management area from a non-designated area. The men were issued citations for entering the management area from a non-designated area and warnings for taking a wild hog during a non-hunting period.

HERNANDO COUNTY

Officer Canamero received an anonymous tip regarding someone keeping a gopher tortoise. Officer Canamero located a residence that had two gopher tortoises locked inside a cage. A subject was identified and after the investigation was completed, the subject was charged and cited accordingly. The tortoises were released unharmed.

Officer Henry was conducting resource and fishing license inspections. One subject who was fishing was found to have an active nationwide warrant for drugs. The subject was arrested and taken to the Hernando County Jail to await extradition.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on patrol at the Funlan Drive-in Market, Officers Messman and Rorer conducted a saltwater products retail and wholesale license inspection on a seafood vendor. The vendor could not produce valid receipts or documentation of where several fish on display for sale came from. In Florida, a business or person selling saltwater products to the consumer must have valid documentation of where the saltwater products came from. The vendor was cited for the violation.

While conducting boating safety and fisheries inspections at the Seminole boat ramp, Officer Pettifer saw an individual attempt to back a vessel trailer down the boat ramp. The individual attempted to straighten the trailer approximately 15 to 20 times. Officer Pettifer approached the individual on foot and asked if he needed some help. The individual ignored Officer Pettifer and continued to back the trailer down the ramp. Officer Pettifer detected a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the passenger compartment of the truck. He instructed the individual to exit the vehicle. After conducting field sobriety tasks, Officer Pettifer determined the individual was operating a vehicle while his normal faculties were impaired by alcohol or drugs. He was arrested and transported to the Hillsborough County Jail where he refused to provide a breath sample.

While conducting boating safety inspections at Williams Park, Officers Rorer and Pettifer saw a vessel being operated by an individual that appeared to be intoxicated. Through the course of the boating safety inspection the individual was unsteady on his feet and had trouble concentrating and following simple instructions given by the officers. Officer Rorer administered seated standardized field sobriety tasks. After completing the field sobriety tasks, Officer Rorer determined the individual was operating a vessel while his normal faculties were impaired by alcohol or drugs. He was arrested and transported to the Hillsborough County Jail where he refused to provide a breath sample.

Officers Berg and Guerin conducted a resource inspection on a vessel returning from an offshore fishing trip. Upon inspection the officers located a 20-inch gag grouper that the captain attempted to conceal. The individual was cited for possession of undersized gag grouper and for possession during closed season.

Lieutenant Holcomb, along with Officers Enos and Berg responded to a complaint that an individual had shot three red shouldered hawks and placed them in a dumpster behind a residence. The officers located the hawk carcasses and began taking statements from witnesses in the area. After a few hours of investigating, the officers located the subject who shot the three hawks in a nearby mobile home park. The individual admitted to shooting and killing all three hawks with a pellet gun. He was cited for taking the red shouldered hawks which is prohibited under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on patrol Officers Hinds, Gaudion, and Pettifer saw an individual sitting on a bench at the North Skyway Fishing Pier. He opened a cooler that contained legal jack crevalle and grunts. The officers noticed a cooler in the passenger compartment of his vehicle covered with a towel. An inspection of that cooler revealed 20 mangrove snapper, one 14-inch undersized gag grouper, and one 11-inch undersized sheepshead. Seventeen of the 20 mangrove snapper were undersized. The individual was cited for possession of over the bag limit and undersized mangrove snapper, possession of undersized and out of season gag grouper, and possession of undersized sheepshead.

PASCO COUNTY

Captive Wildlife Investigator Hough was traveling to facility inspections when he saw a Chevrolet pickup and trailer combination hauling 92 waste/used tires. Investigator Hough conducted a traffic stop on the truck and trailer which resulted in the driver being issued a notice to appear citation, misdemeanor charge, transporting waste tires without a valid permit, driving while license suspended/revoked (CDL) with knowledge (misdemeanor), expired tag (infraction), 2 written warnings for failure to present vehicle insurance, and failure to provide proof of vehicle insurance. The individual was arrested and the truck and trailer was turned over to a licensed driver. The defendant’s spouse was advised how to obtain a temporary waste tire collector permit. The relief driver was instructed to transport the waste tires back to their point of origin.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
HERNANDO COUNTY

Officers from Hernando and Pasco Counties responded to the Croom Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to search for a missing hiker. After a brief foot search the subject was located deceased. The Sheriff’s Office is handling the death investigation.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol late at night in the Spirit of the Wild WMA. He saw two suspicious vehicles blocking a trail and approached the vehicles on foot. One vehicle was empty while the other vehicle was occupied by two subjects. Officer Brodbeck contacted both subjects to discuss the violation. The vehicle owner consented to a search and a methamphetamine pipe was found near the driver’s seat. The driver of the vehicle was issued a notice to appear (citation) for possession of drug paraphernalia.

MARTIN COUNTY

Officers Morrow and Rogers were conducting saltwater fisheries inspections. After making contact with a subject, he presented a non-resident fishing license which he removed from a vehicle. When asked for identification to verify the information on his fishing license, the subject advised he didn’t have one. When asked how he had gotten to the location, he advised that his girlfriend had dropped him off. The officers continued checks of the area and saw the subject leaving, driving the vehicle. The officers conducted a traffic stop on the subject and verified that he did not have a license. The subject was then arrested for driving without a license. His vehicle was towed from the scene and the tag was seized.

Officer Cobo responded to a dog bite at the campground in JD State Park. A dog pulled loose from its owner and tried to attack another dog. It bit a woman on the wrist as she tried to shield her dog. The woman was taken to the hospital and received fourteen stitches. The owner of the dog received a citation.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Toby responded to a complaint regarding marmoset monkeys. Upon arrival, he found an individual in possession of four marmoset monkeys. The individual’s license for the monkeys had expired five years ago. In addition, the caging was too small and she was not able to provide the required records of acquisition. One misdemeanor citation and two warnings were issued for the violations. The individual is renewing her license and making the necessary corrections. Officer Kirkland assisted with this incident.

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol conducting boating safety inspections. An airboat with a single occupant returned to the launch and upon contacting the operator, multiple signs of impairment were observed. After performing poorly during field sobriety tasks, the subject was placed under arrest for BUI. At the Okeechobee County Jail, the subject refused to provide a breath sample and was issued an additional citation.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Defeo was on land patrol in the Corbett Wildlife Management Area (WMA) when he saw a vehicle driving through the “residents only” area of the Everglades Youth Camp. He stopped the vehicle for traffic violations and the driver was unable to produce any insurance or registration, and the tag attached on the vehicle was not assigned. The driver was cited for the violations.

Officer Trawinski stopped a vessel transiting the Boynton Beach Inlet to perform a fisheries inspection. Officer Trawinski checked the catch and discovered undersized mahi and undersized mutton snapper. The subject was cited appropriately.

Officers Trawinski and Defeo responded to a complaint of a juvenile killing mottled ducks in a residential neighborhood in West Palm Beach. After interviewing a complainant, officers discovered that muscovy ducks had been targeted. Muscovy ducks are an invasive species and are not protected, except from animal abuse. The case was turned over to Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control for further investigation.

Officer Langley was on patrol during a heavy storm when he spotted a subject taking cover from the rain under the Spanish River Bridge in Boca Raton. As Officer Langley approached the subject, he saw the subject empty a bucket into the water. Upon questioning the subject, he admitted that there was an undersized mangrove snapper in the bucket he dumped. Officer Langley located the undersized snapper in the water. The subject also did not possess a saltwater shoreline license. The subject was cited accordingly.

Officer Boyd and Officer Langley were on vessel patrol in the intracoastal waterway in Boca Raton. While patrolling they saw a group of teenagers waterskiing. They saw the skiers not wearing personal flotation devices (PFDs). The captain of the vessel also did not have a fire extinguisher on board his vessel, which is required by law. The captain was issued a written warning for no fire extinguisher and the skiers were given warnings for not wearing PFDs.

Officers Defeo, Stone and Kirkland responded to what they believed were two individuals trapped in their vehicle while it was sinking in Corbett Wildlife Management Area. When Officer Stone arrived on scene he found both individuals to be safe and in good health. The Jeep Liberty was stuck in a buggy hole and the driver was ticketed for driving off trail, and the vehicle was towed. While still on scene, officers received another call for individuals lost nearby in the management area. Officer Stone contacted the lost individuals by phone and they told him a buggy was leading them to the main trail. The officer’s waited for the vehicles to exit the woods onto the main trail and when they arrived each driver was issued a citation for driving off-trail. In addition, one vehicle was also issued a misdemeanor citation for unassigned tag and an infraction for unregistered vehicle in the WMA outside of hunting season.

Officers Cobo, Morrow, Godward and Pecko assisted the West Palm Beach Police with recovering a stolen vehicle in the JW Corbett Area. One subject was arrested for theft of the vehicle.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

FWC received a BOLO from Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office about a silver alert. The BOLO indicated that an elderly man had been missing for 2 days. PBSO requested a ping from the subject’s cell phone. Officer Stone, and Investigators Fowler and Warren responded to the Corbett WMA. They started searching near the South Check station. They found the man in fair condition and called for EMS. His vehicle had stopped running after going through deep water. The officers directed EMS back to the remote location. The man was taken to the hospital for evaluation.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Kirkland received a call from the Martin County State Correctional Facility about a small alligator trapped in a water holding tank on the property. With the help of Corrections Sargent Wenrich, Officer Kirkland was able to rescue the 3’ alligator in the ten-foot-deep holding tank with a rod and reel and catch pole. The alligator was released in a large pond on the property.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Defeo responded to a report that a deer had been hit by a vehicle and was on the side of the road, unable to move. When he arrived on scene, it was determined that the deer was seriously injured beyond rehabilitation. The deer was humanely euthanized.

Officer Schroer and Officer Stone responded to a leatherback sea turtle in distress call in the town of Tequesta. The leatherback sea turtle had been struck by a boat and was seen swimming abnormally in the intracoastal waterway. With the help of FWC sea turtle biologists, a veterinarian and Good Samaritans, the leatherback was retrieved from the water and transported to the Loggerhead Marine Life Center for rehabilitation.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Willems, Officer Morrow and Officer Pecko conducted a special detail in northern Martin County which focused on boating safety inspections in low traffic areas. The officers stopped several vessels and addressed multiple boating safety violations. Numerous citations and warnings were issued.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Morrow attended a community outreach event at a local elementary school along with the Martin County Sherriff’s Office, Martin County Fire Department, Department of Homeland Security and the Stuart Police Department. While there, students were educated on the FWC mission, given the opportunity to ask questions, and had lunch with the officers.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Officer Hernandez was on water patrol and stopped to inspect a commercial stone crab vessel whose crew was collecting traps due to the upcoming season closure. During the fishery inspection, the officer noticed a returning recreational fishing vessel suddenly veer off its intended course after the operator saw the nearby FWC patrol vessel. Officer Hernandez terminated the inspection of the stone crab vessel and stopped the suspicious recreational vessel. There were three subjects on board and when the officer completed his fisheries inspection, he discovered two undersized red grouper and two undersized yellowtail snapper on board. One subject claimed responsibility for the undersized fish and was cited for the violations.

MONROE COUNTY

Monroe County Sheriff’s Office requested FWC’s assistance in the apprehension of the fleeing subject that started at the 72 mile marker in Monroe County northbound and ended at the 117 mile marker of US 1 in Miami Dade County. Numerous FWC officers assigned to both counties either followed or assisted in shutting down various intersections or roadways as the driver, at one point, crossed over the median into the southbound lanes while still traveling north. FWC officers assisted at 4 locations where spike strips were deployed. The driver finally pulled over on his own after all four of the tires on his vehicle had disintegrated and he was traveling on just the rims. The subject was taken into custody by both MCSO and FWC without incident. No civilians or officers were injured nor were any vehicles damaged during this incident.

Officer Piekenbrock and Officer Wagner were on water patrol in Monroe County. They assisted USCG with a recreational fishing vessel inspection near American Shoal. A subject aboard the vessel was found to have two active warrants, one out of Monroe County and one out of Broward County. The subject was placed under arrest and transferred to a local marina. Officer Messier transported the subject to the Stock Island Jail.

Officers Tafoya and Rhoda, along with Lieutenant McDaniel were on water patrol near the area of Card Sound Bridge. As they were going under the bridge they noticed several fishing rods protruding from behind the wooden bunkers that mark the channel. Upon closer inspection, they found two individuals fishing from the bridge supports. The individuals paddled a small canoe there from shore. Neither of the men had identification with them. Officer Tafoya searched FCIC/NCIC and found that one of the subjects was wanted for dangerous drugs out of Miami Dade County. The warrant and extradition was confirmed a short time later. The man was arrested and transported to Plantation Key Detention Center.

Officers Wagner, Mason, and Piekenbrock were on federal water patrol in the Looe Key Existing Management Area when they saw a vessel with dive flag displayed. They waited for the diver to surface and approached. The diver had spearfishing equipment and speared fish. Looe Key Existing Management Area is closed to spearfishing. Once on board the officers discovered the vessel was a commercial fishing boat that had commercial quantities of speared fish. The operator of the vessel was issued two federal citations for possessing spearfishing equipment and possessing more than five speared fish in the management area.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Plussa and Lieutenant Mahoney were conducting water patrol near Keewaydin Island when they saw a vessel pass dangerously close to other vessels and swimmers. They activated their lights and signaled the vessel to stop. The operator saw them and quickly grounded his vessel into the beach and jumped off, falling into the water. Officer Plussa’s investigation determined the operator was impaired and arrested him for BUI. During an interview, the suspect admitted to being impaired and under the influence. The subject was placed under arrest for boating under the influence.

Officer Plussa received a call regarding a person potentially taking a gopher tortoise from Delnor Wiggins State Park. Officer Kleis and McVaney responded to the scene and saw a gopher tortoise on the ground near the described suspect vehicle. After obtaining witness statements, video evidence from a witness, and a statement from the suspect, the officers filed charges with the state attorney’s office for prosecution for the illegal take of a gopher tortoise. The tortoise was released alive and unharmed.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Arbogast, Kleis, McVaney, Oldsen, Tidwell, and Yaxley worked a joint detail with Everglades National Park Service, focusing on commercial stone crab vessels returning to port. The officers stopped multiple vessels for compliance with safety regulations, proper licensing, and resource regulations. During one stop, a search of the vessel revealed a bag containing multiple fish hidden away between plastic bins used to transport stone crab claws. The fish were reef fish and not in whole condition. A crew member took responsibility for keeping the fish and the violation of the fish not being in whole condition. Officer McVaney charged the suspect accordingly and the fish were seized as evidence.

FWC officers from Collier County and Monroe County, along with the crews of the offshore patrol vessels C.T. Randall and Trident, conducted their annual joint-agency operation in conjunction with the 2018 Naples Canoe Race. FWC coordinated with Collier County Sheriff’s Office marine, aviation, youth relations, and emergency response team, along with Marco Island and Naples Police Department marine units, Collier County Fire Rescue, and the US Coast Guard. FWC officers stopped over 150 vessels, checking over 1,300 occupants. They issued over 50 citations, 95 written warnings, over 170 verbal educational warnings, and assisted five subjects. FWC officers made 4 BUI arrests, 1 DUI arrest, citing three additional misdemeanors for criminal vessel violations, and assisted other agencies with 3 BUI arrests, 1 disorderly intoxication arrest, 1 resisting arrest, and 2 civil disputes. There were no reported injuries or boating accidents from the public.

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 other informative/helpful resources available.

Officer Washington and Duty Officer Rao gave a presentation for career day and brought exotic wildlife. Using 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.

MONROE COUNTY

Officer Dube assisted personnel from the Divers Alert Network “DAN” from North Carolina on safety tips for the upcoming lobster mini-season. Officer Dube was filmed while answering questions and giving snorkel and scuba diving safety tips to viewers that will be heading to the Keys for the upcoming lobster season.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Plussa conducted an outreach effort in response to recent burrowing owl complaints involving incidental take by residential construction companies on Marco Island. Officer Plussa stopped at 13 separate active construction sites where burrowing owl or gopher tortoise holes were present and spoke with workers, providing education on applicable regulations and thanking them for operating in compliance. Four of these sites had previous documented calls for suspected violations, but all were found to be in compliance.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
MONROE COUNTY

A single vessel accident was investigated by Officers McKay and Thompson when a reported abandoned flats skiff was found in mangrove trees in Key Largo near Jewfish Creek. With USCG and Tow Boat US on scene, all searched the area and the vessel for signs of any occupants with negative results. The sheriff’s office went by the registered owner’s home where his parents only knew that he went out fishing earlier in the day. Around midnight FWC officers learned that the owner was safe at his girlfriend’s residence in Miami. Further follow up over the next several days resulted in FWC officers meeting with the owner. Post Miranda he admitted to operating the boat when it ran into the mangroves and not contacting law enforcement to report the incident. Officer McKay completed his boating accident investigation and cited the owner for several navigation rule violations. Officer Thompson is filing a warrant for the failure to report the accident to authorities. All persons were accounted for and no injuries resulted from the accident. The vessel had around $5,000 in damages.


Ex=BBS member Nathan Brock, who has been working for the FWC for years in the Broward County area has stopped showing up in these reports recently.

I don't know if he is still with the FWC or not but will try and find out.

Print this item

  FWC Enforcement Report May 4-10. All Regions.
Posted by: bigefromlc - 05-23-2018, 10:30 AM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
BAY COUNTY

Officer Brady and Reserve Officer Chesser were conducting patrols near Deer Point Dam when they saw a vessel with what appeared to be an alligator tail hanging over the stern. The officers contacted the operator and conducted a resource inspection of the vessel. When asked about the alligator, the operator stated he found it floating in the lake near a yellow house with what appeared to be a gunshot to the head. The alligator was approximately four feet long. After questioning the individual, the officers located the house. One of the residents stated her boyfriend was not home but would be returning soon. A brief time later, the boyfriend returned and the officers questioned him about the alligator. During questioning, one of the officers located a spent .410 shotgun casing near the water’s edge behind the house. When asked about the spent casing, the individual admitted to shooting the alligator because it was close to his property. The alligator was seized and appropriate citations were issued for the violation.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Investigator Molnar and Officer Cushing conducted a BUI and federal marine fisheries refresher training at the Coast Guard Station on Naval Air Station Pensacola. Approximately 50 US Coast Guard, Escambia Sheriff’s Office deputies, and local FWC officers attended. Topics discussed were the upcoming red snapper season along with other federal fisheries identification and seasons. A demonstration of the seated field sobriety tasks used to determine impairment was conducted.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Peterson and Pestka were conducting an oyster detail in the Eastpoint Area. The officers saw a boat returning from harvesting oysters and stopped it to complete a resource inspection. There were two subjects on the vessel and three bags of oysters. Officers Peterson and Pestka counted and measured every oyster in two of the bags. The bags contained 69% undersized oysters. Officer Peterson cited one subject and seized 374 undersized oysters. The oysters were returned alive to the Apalachicola Bay.

Officers Richardson and Sauls conducted radar patrol in St. George Island State Park. The patrol addressed speeding in the state park around shorebird nesting areas. The officers issued two resource citations and four written warnings for excessive speed within a state park.

JEFFERSON COUNTY

While on vessel patrol on the Wacissa River, Officer Wilcox was conducting a vessel inspection when another vessel almost struck her vessel and left a large wake when it passed. When she caught up to the vessel, the operator showed several signs of impairment. After Officer Wilcox conducted field sobriety tasks on the operator, she transported the subject to the Jefferson County Jail where he blew a .336 on the breath test machine. The subject was cited for BUI.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Nichols was conducting speed enforcement at Henderson Beach State Park when he received a complaint of a subject standing and walking in the protected sand dune habitat. Officer Nichols went to the location of the complaint and found a camouflage shirt laying in the sand and footprints walking back down the sand dune. Officer Nichols noticed a subject squatting down behind a saw palmetto bush attempting to conceal his location. The officer established communication with the subject, who was intoxicated and appeared to be a transient. Officer Nichols issued the subject a trespass notice and escorted him off the park’s property.

Investigator Molnar and Officer Bartlett were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections at Crab Island. A vessel stop was conducted on a personal watercraft (PWC) for violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. The operator showed multiple signs of impairment. After conducting field sobriety tasks, Investigator Molnar arrested the operator for BUI. The operator was cited for violation of idle speed zone, improper display of registration numbers, BUI first refusal and BUI with normal faculties impaired.

Officers Bartlett and Wilkenson were on vessel patrol during the early evening hours. While coming into the entrance of Boggy Bayou, the officers saw a stationary vessel on the left side of the channel without its navigation lights displayed. As the officers approached the vessel, they saw the vessel was grounded and there was a male and female onboard. The male occupant was highly intoxicated. The officers freed the boat from the bottom and anchored it out of navigational waters. The boat owner was cited and issued a notice to appear citation for careless operation and failure to transfer vessel title within 30 days.

Officer Corbin was conducting a livery inspection of a local business in Destin. The inspection revealed that a sale/purchase of a vessel was not recorded at the local tax office within the required 30 days. The livery owner was cited and issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Pifer received a complaint regarding a federally permitted commercial vessel that harvested and were attempting to sell a greater amberjack to a wholesale dealer. The commercial season for amberjack is closed. The officer arrived at the wholesale dealer in Destin and contacted the boat captain of the commercial vessel. Officer Pifer determined the boat captain removed the amberjack to his personal vehicle. The officer took possession of the amberjack and photographs were taken. The boat captain was cited and issued a notice to appear citation for the closed season violation.

Officers Bartlett and Wilkenson were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections at Crab Island. The officers saw a personal watercraft (PWC) in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. The officers initiated a vessel stop. During the communication with the operator, Officer Bartlett developed cause to believe the operator was impaired. The operator performed field sobriety tasks and indicators of impairment were seen. The operator was arrested for BUI and provided a breath sample resulting in a .117 and .118. The operator was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail where the intake process was completed.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Lugg was on vessel patrol near the Pensacola Bay Bridge when he encountered four individuals fishing from a vessel. Officer Lugg contacted the vessel and while conducting a marine fisheries inspection, located five oversized red drum in a cooler located in the front of the vessel. Officer Lugg issued citations to all four subjects onboard for possession of oversized red drum.

WAKULLA COUNTY

While conducting fisheries inspections, Officers Carr and Morales stopped a vessel on Ochlockonee Shoals and noticed the smell of marijuana. The officers conducted a boating safety and fisheries inspection. Officer Carr asked the occupants if there was anything on the vessel that was illegal that they should not have in their possession. They responded by saying they had nothing onboard. The officers continued their investigation, which concluded with one of the subjects coming forward with a plastic pipe with marijuana residue that he pulled from his pocket and a metal pipe that contained marijuana particles from the other pocket. The subject was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

WALTON COUNTY

Lieutenant Hollinhead, Officers Brooks, Tison, White, Letcher, and Greene worked a targeted enforcement activity detail on the Choctawhatchee River to ensure compliance with freshwater fishing and boating safety regulations. The officers inspected 57 vessels with 116 users. Ten citations and 22 warnings were issued for various violations.

Officers Tison and Greene saw a gate that had been torn off its hinges on a private hunting lease. The officers followed fresh vehicle sign by the gate to a creek on the property where they located a vehicle and two occupants. The subjects did not have permission to be on the property and had ignored the no trespassing posting. After contacting the owner, the subjects were cited for trespassing.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
CITRUS COUNTY

While aboard the Offshore Patrol Vessel “Vigilance”, Officers Rockwell, Nelson, Smith and Alvis, along with a NOAA Officer were working the shrimping fleet off Citrus County. They boarded a vessel to conduct a gear and fisheries inspection. During the fisheries inspection the officers located a container with bay scallops in it. An interview of the crew revealed that they had been harvested during the trip. Bay scallops are currently closed to harvest. The appropriate action was taken for the violation.

TAYLOR COUNTY

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

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

Officer Wilder 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. Upon inspection of the vessel, Officer Wilder found three gag grouper with one undersized. During the inspection it was learned that the operator was a charter captain and was currently conducting a charter trip with customers on board. Officer Wilder seized the 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.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer Ward was on water patrol on the St. Johns River when he stopped a vessel for improper display of registration numbers. During the stop, Officer Ward detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the operator and saw signs of impairment. The operator admitted to drinking several beers. Officer Ward administered seated field sobriety exercises and determined that the operator’s normal faculties were impaired. He was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and transported to the Volusia County Jail. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample. The results were .190 and .187.

PUTNAM COUNTY

Lieutenant Dickson conducted a prolonged investigation with the assistance of Captain Smith, Officer Jones, and Officer Campbell about a theft complaint received from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The investigation revealed that a contractor for DEP unlawfully removed approximately 100 deadhead logs from Rodman Reservoir. The contractor was cited for grand theft over $20,000. It was also found that machinery used to conduct work was leaking a large amount of hydraulic fluid on the ground. DEP’s Office of Emergency Response personnel were brought in for analysis. The company that owned the equipment properly cleaned up all contaminated soil and properly disposed of it, pursuant to DEP’s request.

MARION COUNTY

Officer Dias was on patrol in Hog Valley just after dark when he came across a truck and trailer parked at the public boat ramp. The officer noticed a bag of FRM feed in the bed of the truck. FRM feed is commonly used to chum for shiners. Officer Dias then saw a man and woman tossing feed and throwing a cast net from a Carolina Skiff near the boat ramp. The two were taking large quantities of fish. The Carolina Skiff returned to the ramp where Officer Dias conducted a fisheries inspection of the vessel. Officer Dias asked the male subject if they had any gamefish onboard. The male subject replied that they had no game fish, that they had 38 dozen shiners. The subject stated that they were a commercial operation and they sold to the local bait stores in the area. Officer Dias asked to check their commercial freshwater fishing license which the subject could not produce. An FWC records check showed that the man did not have a commercial license and he was cited in 2014 for the same violation. Officer Dias issued the subject a notice to appear for no commercial freshwater license.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
MARION COUNTY

Officer Hargabus responded with Marion County Sheriff’s deputies to Ross Prairie Trailhead where an elderly couple had become lost on the Florida Greenways property. The Sheriff’s Office could ping the victims cell phone and get their approximate location. Officer Hargabus recognized the coordinates and set out to search the area located off the Greenways property on Ross Prairie Wildlife Management Area (WMA). After a short search, the Sheriff’s Office helicopter located the couple near Officer Hargabus’ location and guided the officer to their position. The couple was transported back to their vehicle where Marion Fire/Rescue was waiting to evaluate them.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MARION COUNTY

Members of FWC partnered with Marion County, Lake County, US Forestry Service and local hunt clubs, Jeep clubs and Boy Scout Troops to conduct Project Spring Clean, a joint effort to clean up the Ocala National Forest. During this year’s event, approximately 37 tons of trash were removed from the National Forest and disposed of properly. This was the third year the event has taken place and over the three years, approximately 90 tons of trash and debris have been removed. Members of FWC participating in the cleanup included Investigators Miller and Sumpter, and Officers Simpson, Rice, Wear and Seiler.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
CHARLOTTE COUNTY

Officer Zampella responded to a complaint about a woman feeding racoons. He was familiar with the location because he had responded to the area before and educated the woman about creating a nuisance from feeding racoons. After watching the area for a while, the woman exited her residence, walked to the end of her driveway, and looked around as if she was trying to see if anyone was watching. The woman saw Officer Zampella and waved to him then went back inside. Officer Zampella left the area and drove around the block where he could watch the location. While waiting for the woman to return, a large number of racoons were observed coming and going from the woods across the street from the woman’s house. About an hour later the woman came back out and started throwing food out for the racoons. Officer Zampella approached her and told her she was going to receive a citation for creating a public nuisance by feeding the racoons. The neighbors were thankful for the response. A trapper will be contacted due to the number of racoons that became accustomed to eating food there.

DESOTO COUNTY

Lieutenant Fugate received information about a vessel that had been stolen and the identifying numbers had been removed. Lieutenant Fugate located the vessel behind a residence and located the rightful owner. The vessel was stolen in 2016. The vessel was turned over to Desoto County Sheriff’s Office and returned to the owner.

HERNANDO COUNTY

Officer Pulaski was on land patrol in the Weeki Wachee Preserve. During his patrol he saw an individual that appeared to be drinking alcohol and smoking from a glass pipe. Officer Pulaski approached the individual to address the possible violations. After his investigation he issued a citation for possession of alcohol by a person under the age of 21.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on patrol at Picnic Island Park, Officer Rorer saw two individuals actively engaged in fishing from a pier. She approached the individuals to initiate a resource inspection. As she approached, one of the individuals looked at her, walked to a bucket and dropped two fish over the side of the pier. After reading the individual their Miranda rights, they admitted that they saw Officer Rorer approach and dropped the fish because they did not know if they were legal and did not want to risk getting a ticket. The individual was cited for interfering with the duties of a FWC Officer by not allowing an inspection of their catch.


While on patrol at the Cockroach Bay Boat Ramp, Officer Caldwell conducted a resource inspection on two individuals coming back on a boat. An inspection of the vessel revealed one 17-inch undersized and out of season gag grouper. One of the individuals admitted to catching the grouper. He was cited for possession of gag grouper during a closed season.

Officers Caldwell, Wise, and Balfour responded to a jet ski accident with injuries on Lake Keystone. After rendering first aid and securing the accident scene, it was discovered that one of the jet ski operators had an active warrant for a violation of his probation. The warrant was confirmed and he was transported and booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.

MANATEE COUNTY

Lieutenant Hinds was on land patrol around the South Skyway Fishing Pier. While on patrol he noticed a man spear fishing underneath the fishing pier. When the subject returned to shore, Lieutenant Hinds performed a fisheries inspection to see what the man had caught. During the inspection, Lieutenant Hinds found that the subject had speared two undersized snook. The subject was cited criminally for possession of snook out of season, possession of snook taken by illegal method, possession of undersized snook, and over the bag limit of snook. The subject was also given a warning for no saltwater fishing license. He will have to appear in court for his violation.

PASCO COUNTY

While on patrol, Officer Pettifer saw an individual actively fishing and initiated a resource inspection. An inspection of his cooler revealed him to be in possession of three undersized mangrove snapper. He was cited accordingly.

Lieutenant Parisoe responded to Werner Boyce Salt Springs State Park regarding a drunk pedestrian that was causing a disturbance. When Lieutenant Parisoe arrived, he was met by park staff who identified a female as the source of the complaint and relayed information on what occurred. Lieutenant Parisoe spoke with the individual to investigate. The female initially refused to identify herself and Lieutenant Parisoe requested additional law enforcement support. Officer Balfour and Port Richey Police arrived to assist. The female decided to cooperate and provided her identification. The pedestrian was issued a trespass warning and escorted from the park.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officers Rorer and Pettifer conducted several resource inspections. As they were working their way up the pier they came to some unattended fishing gear. They asked a nearby person who the gear belonged to and were given a description of the owner of the gear. They located and identified the owner who had walked away to avoid being checked. Next to the fishing gear they saw a black trash bag covered in blood and fish scales in a trash can. After reading the individual his Miranda rights, he admitted to throwing the bag with fish in it away because he did not want to be checked. An inspection of his catch revealed him to be in possession of 14 mangrove snapper, eight of which were under the legal-size limit of 10 inches. He was also in possession of an undersized and out of season gag grouper and an undersized black seabass. He was cited accordingly.

While on land patrol in South Pinellas County, Officer Bibeau contacted an individual that was preparing to launch two personal watercrafts (PWCs). He noticed that one PWC had an expired registration, while the other had no registration affixed. Officer Bibeau searched for the unregistered PWC’s HIN and found that it had been altered, wasn’t permanently affixed, and didn’t come back as being assigned to the vessel. After investigating the PWC’s model and serial number, it was revealed that the PWC had been stolen a month earlier in Pinellas County. Officer Bibeau seized the stolen PWC to be returned to the rightful owner. He also seized the other PWC and an open motorboat to investigate to determine the rightful owner. Charges will be direct filed through the Pinellas County state attorney’s office.

POLK COUNTY

While on water patrol on the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes, Officer Carter saw a vessel with no navigation lights. Officer Carter conducted a vessel stop for the violation and conducted a safety inspection. During the safety inspection Officer Carter saw multiple signs of impairment and requested the operator to conduct standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs) to which he complied. The operator performed poorly on the SFSTs and was placed under arrest. The subject was transported to the Polk County Jail where he provided a breath sample of .130 and .114. The subject was charged appropriately.

Officer Carter saw a black truck parked in the parking area of a closed boat ramp/park at Banana Lake. Officer Carter spoke with the driver and immediately detected a very strong odor of alcohol. There was a case of beer on the passenger floorboard that was opened. As the driver was speaking with Officer Carter he tried to avoid making eye contact and ignored questioning. When the driver did speak he would cover his mouth with his hands. The driver admitted to drinking 4 beers earlier in the night. While retrieving the requested documentations, Officer Carter saw multiple signs of impairment and requested the driver to perform SFSTs to which he complied. The driver performed poorly on the tests and was placed under arrest and transported to the Polk County Jail. At the jail the subject provided a breath sample of .153 and .151. He was cited for DUI over .08.

SARASOTA COUNTY

FWC investigators saw a suspicious person near a bridge with some gear they knew was typically used for taking alligators. They drove around the block and within a short time they heard gunshots coming from the direction of the suspicious person. When they came back to the location they saw the man with some bolt cutters going down the embankment of the bridge. When asked if he was okay the man said yes, that he had fired a few shots but everything was fine. A short while later, the investigators identified themselves and found a 9-foot alligator dead on the bank. Officer Zampella responded to the scene to assist. The man agreed to speak with the officers and admitted to shooting the alligator. He was cited accordingly.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
HERNANDO COUNTY

Officer Balfour, Officer Fagan, Officer Scinta, and Lieutenant Parisoe responded to the Croom portion of the Withlacoochee State Forest. Hernando County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) requested assistance searching for a missing hiker. The hiker had been last seen in the Tucker Hill area. While conducting a search, Officer Balfour located the missing hiker who was deceased. The investigation was turned over to HCSO.

PASCO COUNTY

Officers Angelis, Jones, and Scinta responded to a report of a vessel taking on water 18 miles west of Hudson. According to the information, the vessel captain noticed the vessel was taking on water while the other six occupants were diving. FWC, Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, and Sea Tow all responded. All individuals were retrieved from the sinking vessel and transported back to Hudson Beach. The vessel was towed in by Sea Tow.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
HIGHLANDS COUNTY

Officer Adams, Cloud, Investigator Ervin, and Lieutenant Fugate hosted FWC airboat training for Highlands County and Flagler County Sheriff’s Departments on Lake Istokpoga. There were seven airboat operators that graduated.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
GLADES COUNTY

Officer Keen and Lieutenant Steelman were dispatched to a boating accident that occurred on Lake Okeechobee. Upon arrival, Lieutenant Steelman and Officer Keen contacted the operator of the vessel who gave them a statement of what happened. One passenger was ejected and taken to the hospital. Officer Brodbeck was nearby and got a statement from the ejected passenger. A local vessel recovery team was able to unbeach the vessel safely. Officer Keen followed the vessel back to the loading dock to ensure it didn’t sink.

HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Keen was on patrol westbound on SR 80 when he saw a vehicle traveling the wrong way. The officer initiated a traffic stop to address the violation. Upon contacting the driver, who did not have a driver’s license, multiple open containers were noticed inside the vehicle. The driver gave Officer Keen two different names. Officer Brodbeck and Lieutenant Steelman were nearby and arrived on scene to assist. The driver was placed under arrest for driving without a license and transported by a Hendry County Sheriff’s Deputy. After being fingerprinted at the jail, it was discovered that the driver had an active warrant out of Hendry County and was cited for giving a false name to a law enforcement officer. While completing the stop, Lieutenant Steelman saw another wrong-way driver approaching their location. Officers Keen and Brodbeck, along with Lieutenant Steelman conducted a traffic stop on the second vehicle. While the driver of the vehicle was searching for his driver’s license, which had been expired for almost a year, Officer Brodbeck saw drug paraphernalia in plain view. The subject stated that he was suffering from medical issues and requested medical transport. Hendry EMS transported the subject, and upon release, was placed under arrest for driving with an expired DL and possession of drug paraphernalia. Citations were issued for the traffic offenses to both drivers.

MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Willems was on patrol in the Dupuis Wildlife Management Area (WMA). While at the family campground conducting permit checks, two individuals were found to have an expired camping permit. Both individuals had been talked to numerous times in the past for various issues and were aware of the rules regarding permits/camping. Both individuals were issued criminal citations for camping without a valid permit.


Officer Willems was conducting resource checks at Jimmy Graham boat ramp when he saw an individual having difficulty backing a trailer down the boat ramp. Contact was made with the driver and field sobriety tasks were conducted on the individual. The driver performed poorly on the tasks. When asked, the individual stated that he had 12 beers and Xanax. The individual was arrested for DUI and booked into the Martin County Jail.

Officer Brevik was on patrol when he checked an individual saltwater fishing from shore. The person was found to be in possession of 6 undersized mangrove snapper and 1 undersized red drum. A records check showed the subject to be on probation with a stipulation of his probation being house arrest. The subject was taken into custody and booked into the Martin County Jail on violation of probation, possession of undersized mangrove snapper, possession of over the bag limit of mangrove snapper, and possession of undersized red drum.

Officer Carroll was on water patrol around Manatee Pocket when he saw a vessel being operated at night without displaying proper navigation lights. After stopping the vessel, Officer Carroll saw 2 young children not wearing life jackets as required. During the stop Officer Carroll determined that the operator of the vessel was impaired. The operator was arrested and booked into the Martin County Jail and cited for boating under the influence.

Officer Carroll was on water patrol around St. Lucie Inlet near Sailfish Point when he saw a vessel on plane in the slow speed boating safety zone. The vessel was weaving in and out of other vessel traffic in the congested channel in a careless manner. Officer Carroll stopped the vessel to address the violation. During the stop it was determined the operator was impaired. The operator was arrested and booked into the Martin County Jail and cited for boating under the influence.

Officer Rogers was working at the Stuart Causeway when he noticed a van that fit the description of a past BOLO for a possible fish poacher. Officer Rogers ran the license plate of the vehicle and discovered the registered owner did not have a valid driver’s license. As the van passed by, the driver was positively identified as the person with suspended or revoked license matching the subject to the BOLO picture. Officer Rogers followed the subject and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. While Officer Rogers was taking inventory of the vehicle for the tow receipt, he discovered a pipe that was used for smoking crack cocaine and cannabis (under 20 grams). The subject was booked into the Martin County Jail on numerous charges.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Toby responded to a report of an individual in possession of a pet raccoon without the required license. Upon arrival, the illegal possession was verified. One misdemeanor citation was issued for the violation. The raccoon was turned over to a licensed facility. Officer Crosby assisted on the incident.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Stone, Kirkland and Defeo patrolled the Corbett WMA over the weekend and responded to four calls for service. Individuals were illegally riding off trail and damaging state lands. In total, seven citations and five warnings were issued for various WMA violations. The officers also found 2 vehicles that had improper license plates attached. The operators of those vehicle were issued criminal citations.

Officers Nasworth was on foot patrol around Lake Harbor locks conducting fisheries inspections when he saw a subject actively fishing with rod and reel. He contacted the subject who was in possession of 4 black crappie less than 10 inches. Officer Nasworth seized the fish for evidence and issued the subject a court date for the violation.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Officer Payne received a call from the St. Lucie Sheriff’s Office about a person that had beached a vessel on the shoreline between the power plant and Nettles Island and was possibly impaired. A small child was onboard the vessel. Upon contacting the vessel operator, Officer Payne detected signs of impairment and requested the subject performs field sobriety tasks. The subject performed poorly. The subject was arrested and transported to the county jail without incident. The operator advised Officer Payne that he was a Sea Tow member and they were called to remove the vessel from the beach. The subject’s 9-year-old son, who was the only other person on the vessel, was turned over to his mother. The subject was cited for child neglect and boating under the influence.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Toby responded to a report of an individual in possession of a raccoon without the required license. The individual applied for the required license and stated that she was in possession of a raccoon from the wild. Raccoons taken from the wild are prohibited as pets. Investigator Toby responded and educated the individual on the regulations. A warning was issued for the violation. The raccoon was seized and placed a licensed facility.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Stone, Schroer and Investigator Fowler responded to a call from the Tequesta field lab marine turtle department asking for assistance. A 600-pound leatherback turtle with boat strike injuries was found at the 707 Bridge. With help from the FWC biologist, Division of Law Enforcement and the Juno Marine Life Center, the turtle was removed from the water and treated by Juno Marine Life staff.

Lieutenant Hankinson responded to a bottlenose dolphin stranding near Lost Tree Village in the City of North Palm Beach. Lieutenant Hankinson secured the scene and assisted FWC biologists with the removal of the sick dolphin. The dolphin was transported to a facility to be evaluated.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Several officers and investigators from around the region provided public safety enforcement at a large-scale boating event known as “Boca Bash.” Seventeen FWC Officers worked with the Boca Raton Police and Fire Rescue to set up a command post for the event at the Silver Palms Boat Ramp. FWC utilized a mobile BUI trailer for on-site breath testing of impaired vessel operators. During the one-day event FWC issued 9 boating safety citations, 11 boating safety warnings, rescued 16 individuals that were attempting to swim to or from the sandbar in unsafe conditions and made 6 arrests for boating under the influence.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Schroer visited a local cub scout troop at Lake Catherine during their annual fishing derby. He spoke with the scouts about fishing regulations, boating safety and best practices when harvesting resources. Parents and scouts were encouraged to ask any questions they had during the event and put their newfound knowledge to the test while they fished at Lake Catherine.

Lieutenant Haworth along with Duty Officers Pereira, Gibson, Stamp and Patterson assisted with the Family Fishing Event at the Jupiter Lighthouse. FWC biologists were also in attendance and assisting approximately 60 children that were fishing and having fun. The scenery and weather was beautiful and everyone involved had a great time.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

While on land patrol in Miami, Officer Padilla saw a vessel operating on plane in a posted slow speed zone. He saw a young child not wearing a Coast Guard approved life jacket while the vessel was underway. The individual renting and operating the boat advised the officer that he did not receive pre-ride instructions or instructions on boat handling from the livery operator. He also did not have a registration onboard. At the business location, no yellow boating safety signs were displayed as required by law and the operator had no proof of insurance. Officer Padilla cited the individual for the violations as well as renting a vessel without required safety equipment.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Smith responded to a report of an individual in possession of a Burmese python without the required license. Upon arrival, the illegal possession was verified. One misdemeanor citation was issued for the violation. The snake was seized and turned over to a licensed facility.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Landa assisted another agency with the seizure of wildlife. While serving a search warrant for unrelated matters, the agency found an individual to be in possession of an alligator, a lemur, and a screech owl without the required licenses. After contacting our agency, Investigator Landa responded to seize the wildlife and place it at a licensed facility. Officer Dominguez assisted on this incident.

MONROE COUNTY

Investigator Mattson was dispatched to a boating accident with no injuries in the area of “Robbie’s Wheel Ditch” in Islamorada bayside of MM 77. A Boynton Beach man was operating his vessel through the area and slowed down as a courtesy to kayakers. A PWC driven by an adult was following too close and at a high rate of speed when he hit the back of the boat. The strike caused no injuries to the persons involved. However, the boat’s cowling was cracked and a hole was punched in the port side stern of the boat. The operator was cited for two boating violations.

Officer Robison responded to assist Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department (MCSO/MCFD), as well as U.S. Fish and Wildlife reference to a suspect setting a fire on Big Pine Key near Wilder Road. Officer Robison met with Deputy Stalken of MCSO and USFW Officer Brierley who contacted a man living in the woods of Big Pine in the WMA. The man admitted to starting a fire in the woods in a shopping cart where he was living. The fire consumed approximately a half-acre of land. The man was arrested and cited for the violations.

COLLIER COUNTY

Captive Wildlife Investigator Alford followed up on caging violations at a captive wildlife facility. He inspected the facility the previous year and documented violations for two of the enclosures. Warnings were issued and Investigator Alford provided the facility with the necessary steps required to comply. Upon reinspection, the owner of the facility did not make the necessary changes to come into compliance. The facility was issued two misdemeanor citations for the violations. Captive Wildlife Investigator Toby, Investigator White, and Officers Thurkettle and Araujo assisted with this incident.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
MONROE COUNTY

Officers Wagner, Mason, and Piekenbrock were on federal water patrol in the Looe Key Existing Management Area when they saw a vessel with dive flag displayed. They waited for the diver to surface and approached the vessel. The diver had spearfishing equipment and speared fish. Looe Key Existing Management Area is closed to spearfishing. Once on board the officers discovered the vessel was a commercial fishing boat that had commercial quantities of speared fish. The operator of the vessel was issued two federal citations for possessing spearfishing equipment and possessing more than five speared fish in the management area.

Officers Baumgartner and Petru were on federal water patrol when they came across a vessel actively fishing on a popular wreck offshore. After the occupants of the vessel admitted to keeping a mutton snapper, Officer Petru boarded the vessel for a fisheries inspection. Officer Baumgartner began running the occupant’s information and discovered one of them had active felony warrants with extradition out of New York. The individual was arrested and taken to Plantation Key Jail.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MONROE COUNTY

Officer Rubenstein worked a public outreach event at Key Colony Beach City Hall to help answer questions and to address issues and concerns regarding iguanas and other pest problems post Hurricane Irma – and give the public information to help control the green iguana population on private property.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
MONROE COUNTY

Officer Powell and Officer Hettel responded to a call of an overturned kayak near Spanish Harbor Bridge. Officer Powell responded by vessel from U.S. Coast Guard Station Marathon and Officer Hettel responded by patrol vehicle. Upon reaching the area, Officer Hettel learned that a group of three kayakers were ocean side of the bridge being pushed seaward by the strong outgoing tide. Officer Hettel boarded the vessel with Officer Powell and contacted three individuals one mile from the bridge, one of which was in the water holding on to his capsized kayak. Battling 20 knot winds and choppy seas, Officer Hettel maneuvered the vessel alongside and Officer Powell quickly pulled the man aboard to safety. With the conditions too rough for the kayakers to make it back to Scout Key, the officers directed them to paddle with the wind to Big Pine Fish Camp. The individual on board was transported to Spanish Harbor Boat Ramp and the two other persons made it to shore safely.

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  FWC Enforcement Report April 27-May3. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 05-18-2018, 11:09 AM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officers Allgood and Manning responded to a call regarding two subjects fishing from a vessel in a restricted no motor zone near Fort McRee. While approaching, they noticed there was a tent set up in the area near the vessel. They approached the tent and spoke to the two subjects who were present. While speaking to them, they noticed drug paraphernalia lying in the tent and one of the subjects had a methamphetamine pipe in his front pocket. Both subjects were found to be in possession of cannabis, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. Both subjects were arrested and transported to the Escambia County Jail.

While on patrol, Officer Cushing saw a vessel near the 17th Avenue Boat Ramp without any navigational lights on not making way. A second vessel inbound was hauled by the first vessel to assist getting to the boat ramp. When both vessels neared the boat ramp, Officer Cushing contacted the disabled vessel as the assisting vessel was idling away. Cushing projected his voice several times to get the attention of the assisting vessel operator. The operator seemed hesitant to respond, but the officer eventually contacted him. When questioned about having any fish, he indicated that he only had white trout. When asked to see the fish, the individual was slow to reveal the contents of the live well. Officer Cushing directed him to move a tackle bag and open the lid fully. Inside the live well was a 33-inch redfish. Officer Cushing initiated a fisheries inspection with the other vessel. The operator stated that he had two redfish and a red snapper and some other miscellaneous fish. Officer Cushing inspected the catch. One of the redfish was oversized. Citations were issued to both subjects for the oversized redfish violations and several warnings for the other resource and boating safety violations.

Department of Agriculture Criminal Investigator Shaw advised Environmental Investigator Hughes his agency had received a complaint regarding the storage and disposal of yard trash debris (land clearing debris) on private property in Escambia County. Investigator Shaw stated the yard trash debris had been placed on the property by the complainant’s daughter’s previous boyfriend who operated a commercial stump and tree removal business. After a month-long investigation, an Escambia County Circuit Judge reviewed and issued a warrant for the arrest of a defendant for violation of Section 403.161(1)(b) pursuant to Florida Administrative Code 62-701.300(1)(a) that states “(1) General Prohibition. (a) No person shall store, process, or dispose of solid waste except as authorized at a permitted solid waste management facility or a facility exempt from permitting under this chapter” (1st degree misdemeanor).

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Richardson and Sauls were inspecting recreational fishermen under the Apalachicola Bridge. During the inspection, Officer Richardson found a subject in possession of three undersized sheepshead. Officer Sauls asked another subject in the group if he had any fish and he stated they were in a cooler. Officer Sauls inspected the cooler and found one undersized seatrout. Both subjects were cited for the violations.

Officer Travis received a complaint in early March about a bait site on the Tate’s Hell Wildlife Management Area. Officer Travis monitored the site for several weeks. Officer Travis returned and found that someone had rebaited the site. He tracked the all-terrain tire sign to a nearby residence. After a short interview with the resident, he admitted to placing the bait in the management area. The subject was cited for placing bait on the management area and issued a written warning for operating his UTV in a closed area.

Officer Travis was on water patrol in federal waters south of Carrabelle. He checked multiple vessels engaged in bottom fishing. During his patrol, he issued three citations for possession of gag grouper during closed season.

Officer Sauls was conducting an oyster detail in the Eastpoint Area. She saw a boat returning from harvesting oysters and stopped it to complete a resource inspection. There were three subjects on the vessel and two bags of oysters. Officer Sauls counted and measured every oyster in one of the bags. The bag contained 70% undersized oysters. Officer Sauls cited one subject and seized 288 undersized oysters. The undersized oysters were returned to the water alive.

LEON COUNTY

While on resource patrol in the Apalachicola National Forest, Officer Pekerol saw two vehicles driving on a designated trail. After a few moments, both vehicles started doing “donuts” in the road causing damage to the road. Officer Pekerol stopped both vehicles and issued citations to both drivers for damage to state lands.

Officer Johnson was on water patrol on the Ochlockonee River when he stopped a vessel to conduct a resource and boating safety inspection. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the vessel owner had failed to change his registration numbers from Georgia to Florida and had knowingly attached a registration sticker from a different vessel onto his boat. Officer Johnson issued the vessel owner/operator a citation for the unauthorized sticker.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Pifer was conducting saltwater fisheries and license inspections at the Destin East Jetty when he contacted a commercial fisherman. During the fisheries inspection, Officer Pifer could smell the distinct odor of cannabis coming from the individual. Officer Pifer also noticed the individual kept trying to position himself downwind. Officer Pifer noticed a bulge in the individuals pants pocket with a shape consistent of a device commonly used to smoke cannabis. When asked, the individual stated he had a pipe and cannabis. The pipe and cannabis was seized and the individual was cited for possession of cannabis and drug paraphernalia.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officers Jernigan and Arnette responded to a single vessel accident on the Blackwater River. The lone occupant lost control of his 13-foot boat and was thrown from it in a curve of the river. The vessel continued around the curve and ran up into the brush along the riverbank. The man luckily suffered only minor abrasions. The man was issued a citation for violation of a navigation rule.

Officer Ramos conducted a fisheries inspection on three subjects at a boat ramp. The officer found an oversized red drum located in a cooler next to the subjects. One of the subjects admitted to catching the oversized red drum. Officer Ramos continued his investigation and located multiple white baggies with white substances which were field tested and identified as powder and crack cocaine. The subjects were also in possession of crushed Xanax without a prescription. The subject was placed under arrest and transported to the county jail for possession of a controlled substance. He was also issued a warning for the oversized red drum.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
LEON COUNTY

Officer Hildebrand was on water patrol at Lake Talquin. He pulled his vessel up to the dock at Coe’s Landing to check vessels returning to the boat ramp. A citizen ran towards him saying that a man fell out of his truck, hit his head on the pavement, did not have a pulse and was not breathing. Officer Hildebrand grabbed his first aid equipment and ran towards the scene. Upon arrival, he saw a person on the phone with Leon County Sheriff’s Office dispatch and a person giving CPR to the injured man. Officer Hildebrand advised he would give compressions and continued the compressions until Emergency Medical Services arrived approximately three minutes later at which time the injured man was transported to the hospital.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officers have been receiving many complaints about subjects on the Navarre Pier catching their daily bag limit for pompano, taking it home, and then returning to the pier to catch more pompano exceeding their daily bag limit. Santa Rosa County officers formed a targeted enforcement detail to address the violations in which multiple subjects were seen catching pompano, departing the area and returning hours later to catch more pompano. Several subjects were issued notice to appear citations for taking over the daily bag limit of pompano.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
HOLMES COUNTY

Officers Yates, Greene, Gore and Lieutenant Walsingham assisted with a 4-H Youth Fishing event where approximately 27 Holmes County Middle School students (grades 5-8) put their classroom skills to the test on a 2-day fishing excursion. While not many fish were caught, the students still had a great time and three of them experienced their first time fishing.

JEFFERSON COUNTY

Officers Wilcox and Anderson (with K-9 Scout) and Lieutenant Wass de Czege participated in the 11th Annual Outdoor Experience at the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center. They brought an airboat and several small alligators and set up a display along with Sam Yuan from the Invasive Plant Management Section. Lieutenant Russel, Captain Pate, and Major Duval helped at the shooting ranges and Captain Wood helped at the fishing pond. There were approximately 900 people of all ages in attendance throughout the day.

LEON COUNTY

Officer Anderson, K-9 Scout, and Captain Shaw conducted an outreach event at Celebration Baptist Church in Tallahassee for approximately 50 kids.

Officer Miller conducted an outreach event with the Boy Scouts of America. Officer Miller brought an alligator and talked about the agency mission. There were approximately 45 people in attendance.

Lieutenant Wass de Czege participated in a fishing clinic at Piney Z Lake which was sponsored by Conner Hughes, the FWC Fisheries Communications Coordinator. Approximately 19 participants attended from a local seniors group. Lieutenant Wass de Czege spoke to the group about freshwater fishing regulations and boating safety. While very few fish were caught, the participants enjoyed the wonderful weather and expressed interest in future fishing events.

Officers Brookes and Korade conducted an outreach for Take your Daughters and Sons to Work Day event at the Florida Department of Transportation Headquarters in Tallahassee. The officers brought an airboat and alligator. Approximately 100 employees and their children were in attendance.

Officer Anderson and K-9 Scout conducted an outreach for Take your Daughters and Sons to Work Day event at the FWC Headquarters in Tallahassee. FWC employees and their children got to meet K-9 Scout and learn about the mission of a FWC K-9.

Lieutenant Wass de Czege taught the laws portion of the Hunter Safety course which was held at the Bryant Building in Tallahassee. There were 16 students in attendance.

Officers Brookes, Pekerol and Miller attended an outreach event at Lake Jackson. It was the 1st Annual Lake Jackson Aquatic Preserve Fun Paddle hosted by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. It was attended by approximately 150 participants who got to take a paddle trip through the preserve. The officers set up a static display with an airboat and alligators. They talked about boating safety and the importance of the aquatic preserve.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officers Brooks and Rockwell attended two outdoor education classes at Crestview High School. The officers brought a vessel and simulated a vessel stop using students as participants. The officers talked to the students about boating safety related events they dealt with and explained to the students how the required safety equipment is important in a successful rescue. There was a total of 60 students in attendance.

Officer Jarvis participated in an outreach event called “Construction Junction,” presented by the Community Police Officers of Fort Walton Beach. This is a community event where kids interact with construction equipment, military, and law enforcement vehicles and personnel in a safe environment. Approximately 2,000 kids participated in this year’s event. Officer Jarvis provided informational brochures and coloring books about black bears, snakes and general wildlife for the kids. Also, boating safety information was provided to the boating public.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
NASSAU COUNTY

Officer Christmas received information that a subject living in Nassau County had taken an alligator illegally. He and Officer Stuhr located the subject at his residence. He was notified about the investigation and interviewed. The subject confessed to catching an alligator in a nearby creek over a year ago and brought it home to keep it as a pet in his pond. The subject stated he fed the alligator three to four times a week. The pond was fenced in so the alligator was not able leave. The subject stated he did not have a permit to take the alligator from the wild or to keep it at his residence. The subject was issued misdemeanor citations for taking the alligator and keeping it at his residence without a Class 2 captive wildlife license. SNAP was contacted to send a trapper out to remove the alligator due to its size and aggressiveness.

COLUMBIA/GILCHRIST COUNTIES

Officer Johnston recently spent two shifts working the upper Santa Fe River in response to requests from a waterfront property owner asking for FWC Law Enforcement’s presence on the water. Officer Johnston encountered multiple boating safety and resource violations which included no freshwater fishing license, insufficient boating safety gear and vessel registration violations. Officer Johnston also assisted a distressed swimmer who was calling for help. Officer Johnston maneuvered his vessel next to the subject who was able to grab on and be pulled inside. He was safely escorted to the shoreline. One vessel stop conducted near the waterfront entrance to Blue Springs State Park resulted in several boating safety and narcotics related violations. Officer Johnston discovered the operator had an insufficient number of life jackets among other boating safety violations. During the boating safety/registration inspection, Officer Johnston detected the distinct odor of cannabis coming from the vessel. A subsequent search revealed 35 Klonopin pills (a schedule IV controlled substance) located in a sandwich bag, THC oil, two smoking devices, and less than 20 grams of cannabis. Because of the vessel stop, two felony charges are being filed along with multiple misdemeanor charges. The operator of the vessel was also issued a non-criminal infraction and two written warnings for boating safety/registration violations.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 2005 Fincat with Officer Canfield, OPV Gulf Sentry crew members Smith and Alvis and NOAA Law Enforcement Agents Widner and Hughes, along with the OPV Vigilance (out of Panama City) participated in a NOAA enforcement detail targeting commercial shrimp vessels offshore Citrus and Hernando Counties.
During the detail, the OPV Fincat saw a commercial shrimp vessel with trawls deployed, operating inside the Big Bend Shrimp Closed Area. A vessel stop was conducted. Officers Smith and Alvis boarded the commercial vessel and found them to be in possession of scallops, which is prohibited. Officer Alvis issued the operator of the vessel a citation for trawling in a closed area and a warning for possession of scallops.

OPV 2005 Fincat crew members Boyer and Canfield participated in a USCG enforcement detail targeting commercial shrimp vessels offshore of Hernando and Citrus Counites. During the detail, four vessels were stopped, resulting in one citation for improper look out and several warnings for boating safety issues.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
COLUMBIA COUNTY

Captain Huff, Lieutenant Kiss, Officers McDonald and Cline responded to a missing/endangered 83-year-old man in the Lake City area. The officers assisted with searching city blocks for the man along with Lake City Police, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and the Lake City Fire Department. After hours of searching, city personnel located the man who was dehydrated but alive. He was transported to the hospital for further treatment.

CITRUS COUNTY

Officer Canfield responded to a vessel taking on water in the Gulf of Mexico approximately three miles west of Homosassa Point. Officer Canfield found the swamped vessel and a short time later, located the occupants who had been picked up by a Good Samaritan vessel. The occupants were not injured and it was determined the engine on their vessel had quit. While the occupants worked on the engine, the vessel took on water and became swamped. The occupants flagged down the Good Samaritan vessel. A boating accident report will be completed.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
COLUMBIA COUNTY

Several FWC officers in Columbia County and surrounding area participated in the annual Public Service Memorial ceremony located at the First Baptist Church in Lake City. Many local, county and state agency representatives were present to honor the officers and personnel that made the ultimate sacrifice for their community.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer Haskins was on water patrol on Lake George when he stopped a vessel for violating the slow speed zone at the south end of the lake. During the stop, Officer Haskins detected the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from the operator and saw signs of impairment. The operator admitted to having a few beers and taking a prescription pain medication. Officer Haskins determined that the operator’s normal faculties were impaired and arrested him for boating under the influence (BUI). He was transported to the Volusia County Jail. The operator refused to give a breath sample.

Officer Edson was performing marine fisheries inspections along the intracoastal waterway in Holly Hill when he encountered a female in possession of two 12-inch black drum. She was issued a citation for possession of the undersized fish.

Officer Cameron and Lieutenant Eason responded to a suspicious person complaint at Blue Springs State Park where park staff suspected that an individual had evaded park fees. The subject was sitting in pajamas and was not responsive to park officials. Officer Cameron contacted the subject, who repeatedly provided a false name and date of birth. The subject also provided resistance when the officers tried to place him under arrest. Once secured, he was transported to the Volusia County Jail for resisting without violence and evasion of park fees. He was booked in as a “John Doe.” Three days later, Officer Cameron learned the subject remained in jail due to two outstanding felony arrest warrants with no bond.

BREVARD COUNTY

Lieutenant Lightsey and Officer Kearney were on water patrol at night when a vessel was observed with no navigational lights displayed. During the vessel stop, the passengers and operator appeared to be under the influence of alcohol. Numerous empty bottles and cans of alcoholic beverages were on the deck of the vessel. The operator admitted to consuming numerous alcoholic beverages and showed signs of impairment. After conducting field sobriety exercises, Officer Kearney arrested the operator for boating under the influence and delivered him to the Brevard County Jail.

OSCEOLA COUNTY

Officer Marroquin received information that a subject failed to check in a turkey at the Triple N Ranch Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Officer Marroquin contacted the suspect and conducted a resource inspection. The suspect stated that he did not shoot any turkeys that day. While interviewing the suspect, the suspect admitted to taking a gobbler and throwing it in the woods. The suspect stated he threw the bird away in whole condition and knew it was wasteful. Further into the interview the suspect admitted to taking the spurs and beard off of the turkey and threw the meat and fan away to conceal his activity so that he could continue to hunt on his permit. After producing the spurs and beard it was discovered the suspect had taken three turkeys in two days on the WMA. K-9 Officer North and K-9 Max arrived to provide assistance in locating the turkey. The suspect was cited for willful and wanton waste of wildlife, failure to check in game at check station, over the daily bag limit on a WMA, and over the spring season limit of turkey.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
CHARLOTTE COUNTY

Officer Birchfield responded to a call about an individual killing an alligator. When he arrived on scene he located the alligator. He found it had been shot several times with a pellet gun. The owner of the property admitted to shooting the gator and Officer Birchfield issued the individual a criminal citation.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on patrol at the Courtney Campbell Boat Ramp, Officer Pettifer saw an individual unload a cooler and fishing tackle from his vessel. He initiated a resource inspection and through the course of the inspection, Officer Pettifer discovered the individual to be in possession of an undersized, 25-inch snook. The minimum size limit for snook on the Gulf Coast is 28 inches. The individual was cited for the violation.

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Rorer conducted several resource inspections. Through the course of the inspection she discovered one person to be in possession of three undersized mangrove snapper. The individual was cited for the violation.

While checking people fishing at Rowlett Park, Officers Martinez and Wilkins approached a subject sitting at the river bank to see if he was fishing. The officers noticed he had two clear mason jars next to him with a green leafy substance inside. When the officers made their presence known the subject hid the jars. The officers advised the subject they saw what he hid, and found the man to be in possession of 86 grams of marijuana. The subject was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for a felony charge.

While on land patrol at the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Officer Bibeau contacted a subject that was preparing to leave the area. Officer Bibeau asked the subject if he had a cooler and he told the officer he had one located in his trunk. Officer Bibeau was given permission to conduct an inspection of the cooler and located an undersized and out of season snook. Officer Bibeau wrote the subject a misdemeanor citation for possession of an undersized and out of season snook, along with a warning for not obtaining a snook permit.

LEE COUNTY

Officer Hazelwood was patrolling near a popular fishing location when he spotted a man walking toward a fillet table carrying what appeared to be an undersized cobia. Officer Hazelwood approached the man and asked what he was doing with the fish. The man explained that he was going to fillet the fish. Officer Hazelwood measured the cobia and determined it was less than the required 33-inch fork length. Appropriate charges were filed.

Officer Stapleton was checking shoreline fishermen when he met two men shark fishing from a beach. While conducting a fisheries inspection, Officer Stapleton noticed a fish shaped object wrapped in aluminum foil. When he asked about it one of the men stated that it was “his snook” that he’d harvested several months earlier. It was evident the man intended to use the partially frozen snook as shark bait. However, the snook was several inches short of 28 inches total length, the minimum size limit. The man was cited for possession of an undersized snook.

Officer Hardgrove received a tip that someone was possibly illegally harvesting fish in a local canal. From a concealed location, Officer Hardgrove saw three people fishing on a boat and met them back at the boat ramp. During a fisheries inspection he discovered that the boat’s owner had a revoked fishing license for prior violations. Lieutenant Ruggiero arrived to assist and the two officers discovered the boat was missing a hull number. Further investigation revealed that the boat had been fraudulently titled the previous year. The boat owner was arrested for multiple title fraud charges along with the charge for fishing with a revoked license.

Lieutenant Ruggiero responded to a complaint about a possible eagle nest violation. When he arrived on scene he saw clues that a construction company had removed some trees close to a nearby active bald eagle nest. After investigating, he found the construction company did have a federal permit but was not following the guidelines as required. Lieutenant Ruggiero collected evidence and wrote a report about the violation, and then coordinated with a U.S. Fish and Wildlife agent who will be issuing a summons for the violation.

Officer Winton was on vessel patrol when he saw a vessel being operated near the Sanibel Causeway without navigation lights, registration numbers, or a registration decal. A vessel stop was conducted and it was determined the vessel’s registration was expired by two years, was missing safety gear, and was improperly carrying gasoline. The vessel was escorted to a nearby boat ramp to continue the investigation. One of the subjects backed a trailer into the water that was unregistered, did not have working lights, and did not have a vehicle identification number (VIN). The operator of the vessel was issued multiple citations and warnings relating to the vessel violations, and the operator of the vehicle/trailer was issued a notice to appear for operating an unregistered trailer.

Officer Winton received information that several subjects in Cape Coral were keeping undersized fish. Upon arriving, Officer Winton discovered that one of the subjects was in possession of four undersized mangrove snapper that were not in whole condition. The subject was issued a notice to appear and a warning for the violations.

Officers Winton and Fogle assisted the Coast Guard with a boating under the influence (BUI) investigation. Through the investigation, it was determined that the vessel operator had been driving while his normal faculties were impaired, for which he was placed under arrest. The subject refused to submit to a breath test, and was booked into the Lee County Jail for BUI.

Officer Winton responded to a hit and run boating accident that occurred on Fort Myers Beach. Through his investigation, the vessel that fled was identified and located. Evidence and statements were collected, and the operator of the involved vessel was issued a notice to appear for hit and run.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officer Dalton was on land patrol around Anna Maria Island at the Coquina Boat Ramp and performed a fisheries inspection on a vessel returning to the ramp. During his inspection, he found that the captain of the vessel had caught and kept one undersized gag grouper. The captain was cited for possession of undersized gag grouper and will have to appear in court for his violation.

PINELLAS COUNTY

Pilot Fields, Officer LaRosa, and Lieutenant Laskowski responded to a complaint of illegal commercial fishing activity near Boca Ciega Bay. Pilot Fields spotted a net strung across a water opening in the mangroves from the air. He directed Officer LaRoasa by water and Lieutenant Laskowski by land to the location. Officer LaRosa blocked the waterway opening with her patrol vessel to prevent the individuals from leaving. Lieutenant Laskowski approached the individuals through the mangroves on foot. Lieutenant Laskowski contacted the individuals and initiated a resource inspection. He saw a soft seine net tied to the mangroves on either side of a canal completely blocking the waterway opening. The individuals were using the net to block the fish attempting to exit the canal as the tide went out so they could cast net them. In Florida, it is illegal to completely obstruct a waterway with a net. The violation is commonly called “stop netting.” During the inspection, Lieutenant Laskowski saw a snook in the water under some mangroves. Upon recovering the snook there was evidence it had been caught in the net. One of the individuals admitted the snook got tangled in the net and he had to cut it out of the net. The two individuals were cited for stop netting and cited for illegal take of snook.

POLK COUNTY

Officer Karr received information that someone had cut a fence and was trespassing on private property, possibly committing resource violations. When Officer Karr arrived on scene he encountered one male on the private property; who he later found out gave him a false name. Officer Karr also encountered a female carrying a bucket and fishing pole on the private property. When Officer Karr was interviewing the female, the male subject fled the scene through a metal culvert. Polk County Sherriff’s Office assisted with the search of the male subject, but they were unable to find him. The female subject was arrested for trespassing, and the male subject’s vehicle was towed from the scene.

SARASOTA COUNTY

Officers Grenz and Ridgway were on water patrol just south of the Stickney Point Bridge and performed a boating safety and fisheries inspection on a vessel in the bay. During the inspection, it was discovered that one of the men on the boat caught and kept one 16-inch gag grouper. The subject was cited for possession of gag grouper undersized and out of season. He will have to appear in court for his violations.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
LEE COUNTY

Officers Hazelwood and Stapleton, along with Lieutenant Barrett worked a joint operation with Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Cape Coral Police Department, and the United States Coast Guard targeting marine sanitation and vessel safety violations. The four agencies patrolled areas with high numbers of houseboats and conducted inspections on several dozen boats. The operation yielded approximately 25 citations, and one arrest for boating under the influence.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol when he received a call from off-duty Officer Keen regarding turkeys that had been harvested during closed season. A Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Deputy had stopped a truck with a single occupant with fresh blood on the tailgate. Officer Brodbeck arrived on scene and after reading the driver his Miranda Rights, located fresh turkey meat on ice, two turkey legs, a turkey beard, and a shotgun used to kill the turkey. In a written statement the subject said that he and a friend each shot a turkey that morning, three weeks after season had closed. The evidence was photographed and seized. The driver was issued a Notice to Appear (citation) for possession of freshly killed turkey during closed season. During a follow up interview with the second subject, an additional written statement was obtained, along with evidence from the second turkey. Charges will be direct filed against the second subject for taking turkey out of season.

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

Officer Allen was on foot patrol in the Oak Creek Campground no hunting zone when he found a freshly built hunting blind. The next morning, he returned to the area and apprehended a subject near the blind hunting wild turkeys. The man received a notice to appear in court for hunting in a posted no hunting zone

Officers Hausler and Allen responded to a complaint at E-Lock in the Kissimmee River. The complainant advised that three subjects trespassed onto the lock, walking across the chained off lock gates and onto the spillway. The officers arrived and apprehended the subjects who were fishing. In addition to the chained off areas the subjects went through, they walked by four “No Trespassing” signs. The subjects received notices to appear in court for the violation.

Officer Davis conducted a resource inspection on a subject fishing around the S-84 Water Control Structure. Upon checking the subject’s identification card through the 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.

Officers Crosby and Hausler were conducting resource inspections at the D-Lock on the Kissimmee River. During a resource inspection, a subject was found to be possession of 6 soft shell turtles that he caught on bush hooks along the river. From May 1 to July 31 there is a closed season on soft shell turtles in Florida waters due to breeding and egg laying season for the turtles. The subject was cited for violation of the closed season of soft shell turtles. All the turtles were returned to the water alive.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Toby responded to a report that an individual was in possession of opossums. Upon arrival, he verified the individual was in possession of five opossums without the required license. One misdemeanor citation and six warnings were issued for the illegal possession and related violations.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Keen was dispatched to a location where a subject was known to have a freshly harvested alligator. Upon arrival, Officer Keen located the subject and the freshly harvested alligator. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for illegal possession of an alligator.

Captain Schaeffer and Lieutenant Russo assisted with transporting equipment and supplies for a BUI enforcement detail at Lake Boca, located on the ICW. Six boating under the influence arrests were made and numerous boating safety citations and warnings were issued by FWC Officers.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Captive Wildlife Investigator Toby concluded an investigation into the illegal possession of marine turtle parts. An individual collected 15 deceased baby sea turtles from the beach after Hurricane Irma. She performed her own taxidermy on the turtles, then displayed them in her residence. The turtles were seized and one misdemeanor citation was issued for the possession of marine turtle parts without a proper permit. Officers Carroll and Brevik assisted on this incident.

BROWARD COUNTY

Captive Wildlife Investigator Corteguera responded to a report of a marmoset monkey that was found roaming a residential neighborhood. The monkey was captured and the owner of the monkey was identified. The facility was inspected to ensure compliance with regulations regarding the possession of the monkey. The monkey was returned to the owner and one misdemeanor citation was issued for the escape.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Corteguera and Officer Armstrong responded to a complaint stating that a subject was keeping baby raccoons. One subject was found to be in possession of two baby raccoons taken from the wild and one baby mocking bird. The animals were seized and taken to a licensed rehabber. Five criminal citations and one infraction were issued relating to the illegal possession and rehabilitation of wildlife.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Hankinson responded to a boat fire on the Intracoastal Waterway in Jupiter. With the assistance and teamwork provided by responding agencies, all seven occupants were rescued without major injuries. Due to the joint agency effort, the boat was promptly removed from the water in whole condition alleviating environmental concerns. Officer Hankinson is conducting the boating accident investigation.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

Environmental Investigators Luher and Booth attended the Annual Emergency Responders Networking Conference. This conference was coordinated by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Southeast District Office. Presentations on environmental and hazardous issues and response included personnel from U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigations, Florida National Guard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation.


SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Captive Wildlife Investigator Smith responded to a report of an individual in possession of a burmese python without the required license. Upon arrival, the illegal possession was verified. One misdemeanor citation was issued for the violation. The snake was seized and turned over to a licensed facility.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Landa assisted another agency with the seizure of wildlife. While serving a search warrant for unrelated matters, the agency found the individual to be in possession of an alligator, a lemur, and a screech owl without the required licenses. After contacting our agency, Investigator Landa responded to seize the wildlife and place it at a licensed facility. Officer Dominguez assisted on this incident.

Officer Raul Perez was dispatched to North Bayshore William Lehman Park in Miami-Dade County about a complaint of subject keeping multiple undersized fish. They saw an individual grabbing fish from his white five-gallon bucket and scaling them. When the officers approached they saw multiple undersized fish in plain view inside the individuals bucket. A fisheries inspection revealed the defendant to be in possession of nine undersized lane snapper, one undersized gray snapper and one undersized yellowtail snapper. Appropriate citations were issued.

COLLIER COUNTY

While conducting a boating safety and freshwater fishery inspection at a local boat ramp, Lieutenant Mahoney determined a vessel was without any required boating safety equipment as well as two resource violations. The operator of the vessel returned to his truck to look for the vessel registration and Lieutenant Mahoney met the operator as he back downed his trailer. Upon approach to the vehicle, Lieutenant Mahoney detected the odor of cannabis coming from the open window of the truck. A search of the vehicle revealed less than 20 grams of cannabis and drug paraphernalia. The subject was cited for two misdemeanor charges and two boating safety equipment infractions.

Officer Plussa and Lieutenant Bulger were conducting water patrol in Naples Bay when they saw a rental vessel with a 3-year old child hanging off the front of the vessel by herself, without wearing a life jacket. Officers conducted the stop to address these safety issues and to conduct a livery inspection. They escorted the vessel back to the livery to investigate. The livery employee admitted he had rushed the pre-ride instruction but the operator had signed the form noting children under six had to wear a PFD. The operator was cited and the livery employee was warned. As they departed they saw a kayak returning to the same livery and had no life jackets or whistle onboard for its two occupants. The livery manager was charged for renting the vessel without required safety gear.

Officer Plussa and Lieutenant Mahoney were conducting water patrol near Keewaydin and stopped a PWC for violating the Manatee Zone. During the stop, a rental pontoon vessel passed dangerously close by. Officers finished the PWC encounter and stopped the vessel for the navigation rule violation. Officer Plussa determined the operator was severely impaired in that he could not count how many life jackets were needed for his five occupants, could not find his ID with it being in his pocket, could not find the throwable that he was sitting on, and could not find the whistle that was attached to the vessel ignition keys. He was arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and cited for the navigation rule violation and refusal to submit a breath test.

Officer Plussa responded to an initial report of a suspicious boating incident in the buffer preserve zone near Rookery Bay. Through a combined investigative effort with Florida Highway Patrol, Collier County Sheriff’s Office, and a local marine salvage company, Officer Plussa determined the owner of the suspicious vessel had thrown a party three days prior and intentionally left an inoperative large metal grill, propane tanks, a broken party tent, and other debris on the buffer preserve beach within the research reserve. Officer Plussa charged the subject with criminal dumping due to the items left on the beach, issued him an infraction citation for the vessel being left unlit on the water, and warnings for other criminal and infraction violations.

Officers Johnson and Knutson were on water patrol out of Big Marco Pass when they conducted a resource inspection on a vessel approximately 12 miles southwest of Marco Island. During the inspection, Officer Johnson discovered that the owner was in possession of undersized Spanish mackerel and lane snapper. Officer Johnson explained the violation and the owner of the vessel was charged accordingly.

Officer Yurewitch saw a subject litter, discarding a lit cigarette butt out his truck window. The vehicle was stopped and the driver and passenger quickly exited the vehicle and began to argue with each other. Officer Plussa and Investigator McCulgan responded to assist. An investigation revealed the driver had a suspended license for a recent DUI violation. During the officer’s inventory of the vehicle prior to tow, Officer Plussa found marijuana and drug paraphernalia in the vehicle along with open alcohol containers. The driver was arrested, charged, and cited accordingly in addition to his probation for the original DUI being violated.

Investigator White and Officer Johnson responded to a report of a free roaming exotic animal. With the assistance of local law enforcement, they secured the animal, which was identified as a kinkajou. Captive Wildlife Investigator Alford responded to further investigate the incident. He located an individual that was licensed for the animal near where it was captured and verified that she was the owner. The kinkajou was returned to its owner. One misdemeanor citation and one warning was issued for the escape and improper caging.

MONROE COUNTY

Officers Thompson and Hoppe along with Investigator Hein were on water patrol in the upper keys and conducted a boating safety and resource inspection on a vessel. The vessel had multiple safety equipment violations, the occupants did not have fishing licenses, and had multiple short fish. The officers also noticed a speared snapper in the cooler. After a thorough investigation, they learned that an individual that was still actively spearfishing in a different location. The individual hid his spear gun in the mangroves and had multiple fish hidden underwater as well. The vessel operator was cited for 6 undersized mangrove snapper, 9 speared mangrove snapper and one sheepshead. The diver was cited for spearfishing in the upper Keys and over the bag limit of mangrove snapper. The vessel operator was also issued 4 boating citations and both subjects were cited for fishing licenses violations.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Officers Swensson and Almagro were on patrol in Biscayne National Park with a special focus on the recent addition of the month of April to the permit spawning season inside the SPZ. Upon fisheries inspection of a vessel, a plastic bag containing fish fillets was found in the cooler, as well as three great barracudas. The vessel captain claimed that the fillets were from a mutton snapper that was bitten by a shark. Upon closer inspection of the fillets, officers noticed that they looked like grouper fillets instead. There was a small piece of skin on one of the fillets. After being read Miranda rights, the individuals admitted that It was a black grouper. The captain was issued 3 misdemeanor citations for the violations

COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Plussa, Lieutenants Mahoney and Bulger, along with members of the CCSO Marine Unit conducted focused foot and vessel patrol near Keewaydin Island and the corresponding CWAs and buffer preserves. They interacted with hundreds of boaters and beach goers, issuing a total of 7 warnings for violations involving dogs off leash. Officer Plussa stopped one subject whom was launching and landing an ultralight aircraft on the beach adjacent to the CWA. Officer Plussa explained the impact his aircraft could have on the nesting birds and the federal penalties he could face for affecting their behavior in violation of the Federal Airborne Hunting Act which outlaws harassing wildlife with aircraft. He was issued a warning for the violation and vacated the area.

MONROE COUNTY

Officer Rafter was on sanctuary patrol in Key Largo when he came across a vessel actively trolling within Grecian SPA. An initial inspection of the vessel resulted in the discovery of an undersized, out-of-season black grouper. Officer Rafter followed the vessel to shore to conduct a more thorough investigation. Officer Baumgartner assisted with the resource inspection at the dock and found the two individuals to also be in possession of an undersized mutton snapper, as well as having no valid fire extinguisher on board. The individuals were cited federally for fishing within a sanctuary, and cited for state resource and boating safety violations.


COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MIAMI DADE COUNTY

Sixteen officers from Miami Dade County who are volunteers in the ‘Bigs in Blue’ through Big Brother Big Sisters met with their “littles” from Miami Jackson senior high at the FWC Miami Station. They participated in outdoor activities including archery, simulated fishing, boating safety education and subject safety. With the help of LEO, the South Region Partnership Coordinator of the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, they introduced these sports to the high school students and had breakfast and lunch with them while discussing topics related to education and professional life.

MONROE COUNTY

Local officers participated in the “Career Day 2018” at the Plantation Key School in Islamorada. Officer Dube spoke with students about our agency’s role in Hurricane Irma preparation, response, and recovery. Officer Baumgartner and Investigator Hein, both members of the SRB Dive Team, had on display the team’s trailer and various diving equipment they use. Officer McKay manned the reptile table where he had an American alligator, an American crocodile, a California king snake, and a ball python which the students and staff could hold. Major Beaton assisted with logistics and circulated among our presentations assisting the officers. Over 300 students from pre-kindergarten through 8th grade and staff and parent volunteers were in attendance along with the 30+ other participants from various agencies including USCG, US Border Patrol Marine Interdiction, Florida Park Service, the local power company, fire rescue, and the sheriff’s office.

Officer Dube and the entire FWC Honor Guard Team traveled to Tallahassee for the Annual Police Memorial services at the State Capitol. Memorial activities included the candlelight vigil followed by a parade and honors ceremony by state law enforcement and police agencies from around the State the next day. A roll call of the current and past law enforcement officers was read and their names were inscribed on the Wall of Honor.

Officer McKay took the time to meet with sheriff’s deputies in Monroe County to discuss the differences between two crocodilians and FWC’s response to calls for service pertaining to them. Recently a squad of deputies responded to the reported sighting of a 9-foot crocodile which was out of their realm of expertise. McKay discussed the SNAP program and how the deputies can assist our responding officers and staff on these encounters. Following this training session McKay stopped by the evening police academy with a crocodile and a California king snake for the recruits to experience. He answered numerous questions pertaining to our agency and our hiring process. One cadet has already applied with our agency.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Kleis and Knutson responded to a call regarding a large alligator stuck in a storm drain. When the officers arrived, they discovered an approximately 7-foot-long alligator in the storm drain. Officer Kleis utilized his “catch pole” to gain control of the alligator and the two officers were able to remove the creature from the storm drain. The alligator was released into a nearby lake.

MONROE COUNTY

Officer Glen Way and Investigator Chris Mattson responded to a call of a Miami man harassing a pod of manatees at a local Long Key area resort. Officer Way saw the intoxicated man’s behavior and a witness that called in the violation provided a written statement. The man was seen slapping the water, throwing things at the manatees and “making underwater noises.” He was arrested and taken to Plantation Key Jail where he was cited for marine mammal harassment.

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  FWC Enforcement Report April 20-26. All Regions
Posted by: bigefromlc - 05-11-2018, 12:11 PM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Richardson and Sauls were conducting an oyster detail in the Eastpoint Area. They saw a vessel returning from oystering. As the vessel approached the ramp the officers saw a female subject onboard throw a bag of oysters into the water. The subject later admitted to throwing the oysters overboard to avoid inspection. The subject was cited for interference with an FWC officer.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Wilkenson was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and fisheries inspections in the Intracoastal Waterway (Santa Rosa Sound) near the Navarre causeway. The officer saw a vessel with two occupants actively fishing with rods and reels. The fisheries inspection revealed there was an oversized red drum, measuring 30” in total length. The vessel’s owner/operator was cited and issued a notice to appear citation.

Officer Nichols responded to a bear nuisance complaint in the Navarre area. A homeowner called the Tallahassee Regional Community Center to report that a bear had remained on his property for the entire day and night. When the officer arrived, he contacted the homeowner and saw the bear by the base of an oak tree. Officer Nichols hazed the bear to run the bear back into the woods. The officer inspected the homeowner’s property to determine what caused the bear to come to his residence. Officer Nichols saw household garbage contents strewn in the wooden area next to the homeowner’s residence. The officer determined the household garbage came from the homeowner’s garbage can. The homeowner was educated on the laws in securing food attractant and garbage cans. The homeowner was issued a non-compliance letter.

WALTON COUNTY

Officer White was patrolling Eglin Air Force Base Wildlife Management Area and discovered subjects hunting in a closed portion of the Choctaw East Unit. Officer White identified three subjects that had not checked the status of the unit prior to entering the closed portion to turkey hunt. All three subjects were cited for entering a daily closed area.

Officer Bradshaw organized a targeted enforcement detail for Point Washington Wildlife Management Area to deter destruction and driving on closed roads. Multiple citations and warnings were issued for driving in prohibited areas.

Lieutenant Hollinhead and Officer Letcher stopped a vehicle after it was observed in a prohibited area and discovered a passenger was in possession of cannabis. The driver was issued a warning for the WMA violation and the passenger was charged for possession of cannabis less than 20 grams.

Officer White and Reserve Officer Hahr were checking the Pilcher Park Boat Ramp on Choctawhatchee River when Officer Hahr saw a bag of cannabis in plain view in a vehicle. The driver and an occupant were later identified and questioned when they returned to their vehicle. After questioning, the driver was cited for possession of cannabis less than 20 grams.

Lieutenant Hollinhead was patrolling along a property boundary on Nokuse Plantation and heard several gun shots. While approaching several subjects he saw one of them on the plantation property. It was later determined the subject had climbed over the fence boundary and entered the property. The subject was cited for trespassing.

Lieutenant Clark responded to a complaint of a homeless individual that set up a campsite in a restricted area of the sand dunes at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park. A Department of Environmental Protection biologist saw a pop-up style tent along with trash strewn out around the camp site. The park staff was provided a description of the individual and was able to locate him at the last beach tram pick-up point. Lieutenant Clark arrived on-scene and contacted the individual. It was determined the individual entered the park illegally and set up a tent site in an unauthorized protected/restricted preserved area of the state park. The individual was issued a trespass warning and was cited accordingly for illegal entry, illegal camp site and entering through a posted shorebird protection area.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officers Brooks and Rockwell attended an outdoor education class for Baker High School. The officers brought a vessel and talked about the importance of boating safety and life jackets with the upcoming boating season. The officers also answered many questions about hunting safety and regulations. The officers explained the process of how to become a FWC officer. There were 65 students in attendance.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Land had a vessel on display at shoreline park where he interacted with over 120 students from Gulf Breeze Middle School. Officer Land educated students about the role and responsibilities of an FWC officer. He had boating safety items on display and explained the importance of safe boating. He answered questions from students regarding boating rules, resource regulations, and public safety concerns. He also informed students of the steps required to become an FWC officer.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
MADISON COUNTY

Officer Vazquez while on foot patrol discovered a blind within 100 yards of an active feeder towards the end of spring turkey season. On the last weekend of the season Officer Vazquez saw a subject enter the baited blind, set up decoys and begin calling for turkey. A citation was issued for attempting to take turkey within one hundred yards of bait.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
CITRUS COUNTY

Officers Canfield and Browning responded to a medical emergency aboard a vessel offshore of Citrus County. While in route, they met with a Citrus County Fire Rescue boat and took a firefighter/EMT aboard for a quicker response. The officers located the vessel aground off Homosassa Point and determined the occupant was in need of non-emergency medical assistance. The FWC patrol vessel stood by and assisted a USCG vessel to the location. The USCG vessel transported the occupant to shore.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL

The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 2005 Fincat, with Officers Canfield, Boyer and Willis deployed from Crystal River to the Naples/Key West area to conduct turtle excluder device (TED) enforcement on commercial shrimp boats. They were joined by South Region B Officer Carroll in Naples and conducted patrols in conjunction with the OPV Trident and OPV C.T. Randall.

The OPV 2005 Fincat patrolled from Naples towards the Marquesas. Four commercial shrimp boats were stopped approximately 35 miles north of the Marquesas. Sixteen TEDs were inspected, with several minor TED violations documented and corrected on site.

On the second day, the OPV 2005 Fincat patrolled from Key West to approximately 16 miles north of the Marquesas. Three commercial shrimp boats were stopped and 12 TEDs were inspected. Several minor TED violations were documented and corrected on site. On one of the shrimp boats, a major TED violation was documented and a case package will be prepared and forwarded to NOAA Law Enforcement for further action.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
SUWANNEE COUNTY

Officer Boone participated in the law portion of a Hunter Education class in Live Oak. There were several students with parents in attendance for the class. Numerous questions were answered on the topics of conservational enforcement, public safety and various hunting related questions.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
LAKE COUNTY

Officer Morrow and Reserve Officer Baugh received a call of an owl entangled in fishing lines and hooks in Tavares. The officers climbed into a tree and were able to rescue the bird. The bird was taken to a local rehabilitation center where it is expected to make a full recovery.

EMERGENCY RESPONSE
MARION COUNTY

Officers, investigators, lieutenants, captains and Major Russel in the Northeast Region responded to Forest High School in Ocala regarding shots being fired in the school. The officers assisted the Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Ocala Police Department, Florida Highway Patrol and other agencies with crowd control and traffic control. Later in the day, officers provided security at the county elementary schools during the afternoon dismissal. The officers were recognized by the students at Forest High School for their professional and timely response to the incident.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
PUTNAM COUNTY

Officer Wester set up an outreach display at Dunn's Creek State Park for Earth Day. There were approximately 200 people in attendance.

LAKE COUNTY

Officer Morrow and Reserve Officer Baugh assisted FWC and Forestry with their Welcome to the Woods event at Seminole State Forest. The event had over 80 children in attendance. The officers taught about fishing, archery, kayaking, hiking and prescribed burns.

Officer Shaw and Lieutenant Chase attended the Ducks Unlimited Greenwing event. The event educated over 150 youth on hunter safety, archery, fishing, dog training and bird identification.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

Officer Gonzales was on land patrol around Lavender Road. While on patrol he discovered several individuals had illegally entered South West Florida Water Management District property to fish. Officer Gonzales performed a fisheries inspection on the group of fishermen to see what they had caught. Upon completion of his inspection, Officer Gonzales found that one of the men had cast netted several small snook. All the men were cited for illegally entering the management area. The subject who caught the snook was issued citations for possession of undersized snook and snook taken by illegal method. He will have to appear in court for the violations.

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officers LaRosa and Pettifer conducted several resource inspections. Through the course of their inspections they discovered two individuals to be in possession of 13 mangrove snapper. The legal bag limit for mangrove snapper is five per person. After measuring the fish,12 of the 13 were under the legal size limit of 10 inches. The two individuals were cited for possession of undersized and over the bag limit of mangrove snapper.

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Pettifer conducted a resource inspection. Through the course of his inspection he found an individual to be in possession of seven mangrove snapper. After measuring the fish, he discovered six of them were under the legal length of 10 inches. The individual was cited for possession of undersized and over the bag limit of mangrove snapper.

While on patrol on South Florida Water Management District property, Officer Messman saw four individuals actively fishing using a cast net. He watched the individuals fish for a while and load up their fishing gear and leave the area. Officer Messman initiated a stop to conduct a resource inspection. Through the course of the inspection the driver could not produce a valid driver’s license, freshwater fishing license, or any type of identification. He advised he had never been issued a driver’s license. He was placed under arrest for operating a motor vehicle without a driver’s license and transported to the Hillsborough County Jail where he was positively identified.

LEE COUNTY

While on offshore patrol in the Gulf of Mexico, Lieutenant Spoede and Officers Winton and Fogle saw a fishing vessel transiting in from offshore waters. The officers conducted a vessel stop and discovered that the subjects were in possession of two undersized red grouper. They also had been fishing for gulf reef fish with prohibited gear. The captain of the vessel was issued a notice to appear for the undersized fish and a warning for the gear violations.

Lieutenant Spoede and Officers Winton and Fogle were on offshore patrol in the Gulf of Mexico when they saw a fishing vessel transiting in from offshore waters. The vessel appeared to be keeping a distance from their marked law enforcement vessel. The officers conducted a vessel stop and the operator stated that he had luck fishing and had caught snapper. When asked if he had any grouper onboard he stated that he had one. During a resource inspection, Officer Winton discovered three red grouper, two of which were undersized. It was also discovered that the subject had an expired fishing license, no gulf reef fish permit, and no copy of his vessel registration. The subject was issued a notice to appear for possession of undersized grouper, an infraction citation for failure to have a saltwater fishing license and warnings for the related violations.

Captain Carpenter and Officer Winton were on offshore patrol in the Gulf of Mexico near several popular beaches when they saw a commercial charter vessel returning from offshore waters. A resource inspection was conducted and it was determined that the vessel was in compliance. The officers then inspected the vessel’s marine sanitation device and determined that the head was plumbed directly overboard – meaning that waste was traveling from the toilet directly into state waters. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for the violation.

Officers Winton, Hazelwood, and Stapleton were on water patrol in Estero Bay when they saw a vessel violating a manatee zone. A query of the vessel revealed that it was displaying registration numbers belonging to another boat. As the vessel was stopped, the operator of the vessel switched places with a passenger. A boater safety inspection was conducted and the original operator exhibited signs of impairment. Field sobriety tasks were performed and the subject was placed under arrest for boating under the influence. The subject initially agreed to submit to a breath test and blew a .145, but then refused the required second sample. Since the subject had a prior refusal he was booked into the Lee County Jail on charges for boating under the influence (BUI) and criminal refusal to submit to a blood/breath/urine test.

Officers Hughes, Smith, and Alvis, along with Lieutenant Wells (SW Offshore Patrol Vessel crew) conducted a multiday shrimp boat detail off Collier and Lee Counties. The officers inspected a total of seven shrimp boats in state and federal waters. Additionally, the officers inspected 28 turtle excluder devices (TEDs). A TED inspection includes measuring the angle, bar spacing, grid length and width, leading edge, forward cut, stretched flap opening, length of flap below grid, and the length of the flap sewn down the side. A few minor violations were noted and the officers worked with the boat captains to correct the issues on site. As the officers were boarding one of the vessels, a crewmember ran into the cabin of the vessel and threw a glass jar over the side. One of the officers in the trailing FWC vessel recovered the item. It was a glass mason jar with a rock in it along with felony amounts of cannabis. The crew member was cited for interference and possession of felony amounts of cannabis.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officer Davidson was on land patrol around Pappi’s Cut near Perico Bayou. While on patrol he stopped and performed a fisheries inspection on a group of men that were cast netting fish in Perico Bayou. During the inspection he found that one of the men had caught and kept several undersized sheepshead. The subject was cited criminally for possession of undersized sheepshead and will have to appear in court for his violation

PINELLAS COUNTY

Officer Pettifer received a call regarding individuals placing baited turtle traps in a freshwater lake near Clearwater. Officer Pettifer responded at the beginning of his shift and located the net. The net was a large fyke net constructed of mesh and hoops, and was left unmanned in the lake. When the individuals returned, Officer Pettifer initiated a resource inspection. The individuals had recovered seven turtles from the net. They were cited for possession of over the bag limit of freshwater turtles and illegal method of take (fyke net).

While on patrol Officer LaRosa received a complaint regarding two individuals keeping illegal fish at the North Skyway Fishing Pier. Officer LaRosa responded, concealed her patrol truck, and saw the individuals fish for approximately 45 minutes. When they began to pack up she initiated a resource inspection. She discovered them to be in possession of three undersized gag grouper during a closed season. The individuals were cited accordingly.

SARASOTA COUNTY

Officer Brown was on land patrol around the Stickney Point Bridge. He performed a fisheries inspection on two individuals fishing from the bridge. During the inspection it was found that the individuals were over their bag limit of gray (mangrove) snapper. Furthermore, they were in possession of numerous undersized mangrove snapper. One subject was cited for possession of undersized gray snapper and was issued a warning for being over the bag limit of gray snapper. He will have to appear in court for his violation.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
BROWARD COUNTY

Officer Sullivan was patrolling US 27 when he saw an individual fishing at a spillway. He stopped to conduct a fisheries inspection. The subject had 3 black bass, all over 16 inches. A records check showed that the subject had been cited in the past for the same violation. Officer Sullivan issued the subject a citation for having more than 1 black bass 16 inches or greater.

Officer Sullivan was conducting fisheries inspections at the South Fork canoe launch. There were several individuals fishing. One individual told Officer Sullivan that he had a mangrove snapper. When Officer Sullivan inspected the fish that were in the subject’s bucket he saw a small snook underneath the snapper. Officer Sullivan cited the subject for possession of undersized snook. The subject was also warned for having an expired fishing license.

Officer Seldomridge was on park patrol in Mizell Johnson State Park. He conducted a vessel stop at the boat ramp. The subject had an undersized king mackerel in a white cooler. The fish was seized as evidence and the subject was cited for harvesting an undersized king mackerel.

GLADES COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol in Lakeport when he saw a vehicle with no license plate traveling westbound on SR 78. He initiated a vehicle stop to address the violation. The officer recognized the driver of the vehicle and had warned her 2 months prior about the same violation. During the stop, a relative of the driver arrived on scene by motorcycle. Neither driver had a driver’s license in their possession and the motorcycle had an altered tag. When checked through law enforcement databases, both vehicles had expired registrations of more than two years. The driver of the vehicle was issued a citation for no tag and the driver of the motorcycle was issued a Notice to Appear for tag expired by more than 6 months.

HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol in the Okaloacoochee Slough State Forest when he saw a vehicle on CR 832. After observing the vehicle for several minutes, a vehicle stop was initiated. The driver of the vehicle did not have a driver’s license or identification of any kind and stated he was a foreign national. Officer Brodbeck placed the subject under arrest for driving without a driver’s license. Upon having the driver exit the vehicle, the officer saw in plain view a dead peacock and a rifle. The passenger of the vehicle, after being read his Miranda rights, stated that he shot the peacock in a tree on private property from the roadway. He further stated that the property was fenced and that he thought the peacock was a turkey. The subject was placed under arrest for felony trespass by projectile. Both subjects were booked into the Hendry County Jail.

MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Willems was dispatched to a 911 call for a suicidal subject at Dupuis Wildlife Management Area (WMA) campground. Once on scene, the individual was questioned about the call and it was verified to be a hoax call. While at the campsite, several glass pipes used for smoking cannabis were in plain view in the individual’s vehicle. When asked about the pipes the individual admitted they were his and gave consent to search his vehicle and tent. Five items of drug paraphernalia were found and seized as evidence. The individual was criminally cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officer Willems concluded a protracted investigation that began in August of 2017 regarding an individual killing a deer out of season. The investigation resulted in a felony arrest warrant being issued for the individual. Officer Willems, FWC Investigator Patterson, and Martin County Detective Smith located the individual and took him into custody without incident. The Individual was booked into the Martin County Jail on 1 felony, 5 misdemeanors, and 3 infractions.

Officers Carroll and Brevik were conducting water patrol off shore of the St. Lucie Inlet when they saw a vessel heading towards the inlet. Fishing poles and tackle were visible on board the vessel. The officers conducted a stop on the vessel to perform a saltwater fisheries inspection. Upon inspection, Officer Brevik saw two vermillion snapper under the state minimum size limit. The subjects stated that they had been warned before by FWC for catching undersized saltwater fish. The subject was cited accordingly for possession of undersized vermillion snapper in Atlantic waters.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Merizio and Brevik were patrolling the Corbett WMA. While on patrol the officers saw approximately 10 trucks and trailers parked at stumpers grade and the powerlines (trail 11). The trailers they saw are known for towing off road vehicles. During this time of year unregistered and unlicensed vehicles are not allowed in the WMA (WMA is closed to unregistered vehicles from 1 day after spring turkey season until 3 days prior to archery season). Also during this time of year, vehicles are not allowed off the main roads (vehicles may only be operated on stumpers grade, south grade, north grade and trail 6). Officers Merizio and Brevik waited at the subjects’ vehicles until they returned. The subjects were operating unregistered UTV’s and side-by-sides on trail 11 which is closed to off-road use. The subjects were issued several citations and educated on the rules in the WMA.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Investigator Patterson and Officer Payne responded to an anonymous tip regarding illegal fishing at Belcher Canal Spillway. Belcher Canal Spillway is a designated construction site that is fenced and posted with multiple signs. Upon arrival, Investigator Patterson saw two subjects fishing and conducted a fisheries inspection. A records check revealed the subjects had been previously arrested for trespass at the same location. Both subjects were transported to the St. Lucie County Jail and booked for the appropriate charges.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
MARTIN COUNTY

Lieutenant Fillip and Officers Merizio, Kirkland, Trawinski, Brevik, Carroll, and Defeo responded to a search and rescue in the Hungryland Wildlife Environmental Area. The call came from the Martin County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) dispatch center advising of a 20-year-old male subject who was possibly lost in the WEA. According to the subject’s family, he was stuck off-road inside the WEA at an unknown location. FWC Officers Trawinski and Kirkland brought side-by-side off-road vehicles to assist in the search. While the officers were searching the WEA for the subject, the subject’s family called MCSO and advised them the subject was pulled out of the mud by a Good Samaritan and the subject had returned home safely. Officers advised that in Hungryland WEA, it is illegal to operate vehicles off the named and numbered roads.

Officers Morrow, Pecko, Brevik, Carroll, Merizio, Arnold, Lieutenant Filip, FWC Aviation, and the Martin County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a lost elderly hunter on foot in the Dupuis Management Area. Officer response consisted of various off-trail vehicles along with air support. The subject was located on foot and determined to be in good health.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Merizio assisted FHP and Palm Beach County Fire Rescue with a 2-vehicle accident on I-95 near Hypoluxo road. Officer Merizio saw a vehicle on the side of the road smoking with a police vehicle approximately 50 feet from the vehicle. Officer Merizio got back on the interstate going north bound to see if he could assist. While travelling north bound he came across a white passenger van on its side against the far median wall with no law enforcement or fire rescue personal on scene. Officer Merizio immediately pulled over to provide assistance/first aid. With the help from a few Good Samaritans, the 5 passengers and driver of the van were pulled out of the vehicle and moved to safety to await FHP and Fire Rescue. After FHP arrived on scene, officers were able to determine that both vehicles were involved in the same accident. One subject from the van was transported as a trauma patient as a precaution and the others were transported for minor injuries.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
MARTIN COUNTY

Officers Carroll and Brevik were on water patrol when they received a call regarding an injured bird on the Stuart sandbar. The officers located the royal tern standing on the sandbar. When the tern would attempt to walk it would fall and was unable to fly. The officers located a band on the tern’s foot and transported it to the Treasure Coast Wildlife Center where it will be rehabilitated.

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

Officer Morrow responded to a report of a bird in distress in Coastal St. Lucie County. Upon arrival, the officer located the bird, which was determined to be a gannet. The gannet was removed from the scene and relocated to Treasure Coast Wildlife Hospital for rehabilitation.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Mann attended an educational event for disabled high school students at Macarthur Beach State Park. Officer Mann met with the kids and answered any questions they had about the agency and conservation law enforcement.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Yurewitch and Investigator White were on water patrol in Wiggin’s Pass when they saw a PWC operating on plane in a posted manatee zone. When the officers stopped the PWC they saw signs of impairment and began a BUI investigation. The operator of the PWC was arrested for boating under the influence and transported to the Collier County Jail where she provided a breath sample that was nearly twice the legal limit.

While on water patrol in Naples Bay Officer Knutson received information that the Coast Guard had a vessel stopped with undersized fish on board. Officer Knutson responded and conducted a resource inspection which confirmed that the subject was in possession of an undersized snook. The individual was cited accordingly.

Officer Plussa was conducting focused boating safety enforcement in Naples Bay when he saw a PWC operator without a secured life jacket, with no registration numbers, and an improperly displayed decal. A stop and inspection revealed the operator had an active felony warrant for dangerous drugs. A search incident to arrest found him in possession of green leafy marijuana and other felony narcotics. The subject was arrested for the felony warrant and charged with felony possession of controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of marijuana, and cited for the vessel violations accordingly.

Officers Araujo and Reams were on land patrol near the Collier/Miami Dade county line when they saw 2 subjects fishing from shore. The officers saw the subjects catch and keep several fish, that when inspected were found to be peacock bass. In total the subjects were in possession of 13 peacock bass, 9 over the legal limit. Both subjects were cited accordingly.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
COLLIER COUNTY

The FWC Offshore Patrol Vessel C.T. Randall and crew patrolled over 290 nautical miles from Marco Island to Key West and the Dry Tortugas over a three day patrol. The patrol was to ensure compliance with state and federal regulations of the Gulf of Mexico shrimping fleet. The crew of the C.T. Randall inspected 14 turtle excluder devices (TEDs). During inspections officers issued one federal fix it for TEDs bar spacing and one federal fix it for TEDs angle exceeding fifty-five degrees. One shrimping vessel received 2 warnings for failure to have valid federal permits available for inspection. Another shrimping vessel was cited for 10 counts of possession of spiny lobster during the closed season, possession of wrung spiny lobster tails, possession of undersized spiny lobster tails, possession of undersized stone crab claws, and one subject was arrested for two active warrants out Broward County. Vessel Captains and crews of the shrimping fleet were cooperative, professional, and courteous to the inspecting FWC Officers.

Officers Plussa, Yurewitch, and Knutson assisted Collier County Marine and Youth Relation Deputies in conducting foot patrol on barrier islands near Keewaydin and Marco Island. They focused on high-visibility boating safety, BUI-interdiction, youth alcohol, and critical wildlife area violations with the start of the summer boating season and in anticipation for the Naples Canoe Race. Multiple criminal arrests were made including two BUI arrests, a felony drug arrest, and two warrants. Additionally, beach patrons interacted with officers and educated on CWA violations involving keeping dogs on leash near the nesting birds.

MONROE COUNTY

During a three-day detail the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Trident worked in conjunction with two other OPV’s: the C.T. Randall stationed in Marco Island and the Finn Cat stationed in Crystal River, directing their effort toward turtle excluder devices (TEDS) on the offshore shrimp boats located within 80 miles off the Florida Keys.

On day one of the patrol Officers Richards, Foell, Sutter and Tafoya on OPV Trident patrolled from Key West to the Dry Tortugas. Eight vessel inspections resulted in 1 state misdemeanor, 4 federal violations which were referred to the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), and 1 vessel assist. The state violation was issued to a recreational center console vessel who was anchored, displaying fishing gear, and in possession of fish in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary North Ecological Reserve. During a shrimp vessel inspection, the TED’s were found to have four separate violations. The captain was notified and the case sent to NMFS. While on patrol, the sailboat South of Rebecca signaled that they needed assistance. The two people onboard stated they were coming from Columbia heading to Key West and had lost their electronics, paper charts and were low on water. The captain was confident he could make it with a paper chart so the Trident provided them with a paper chart of their current position, enough water to get to Key West and notified CBP and USCG due to the vessel being several days overdue.

Day two Officers Richards, Foell, Sutter and National Marine Fisheries Officer Robb on the Trident patrolled from Key West into the Gulf of Mexico. The Trident received a request for assistance from the C.T. Randall to transport a warrant arrest from 25 NM NW of Stock Island back to the Stock Island Jail. After completing the task, the Trident returned offshore and located a charter vessel with undersized snapper and two shrimp boat inspections with no violations. The charter vessel violation was documented and referred to NMFS.

Officers Richards, Foell, Sutter and National Marine Fisheries Officer Robb on the Trident patrolled from Key West toward the Tortugas in the Atlantic. During the patrol, two vessels were inspected. One vessel was a fishing charter boat that was on the last day of their three day fishing trip. On approach, the vessel was recognized to be a vessel that has had several past violations of out of season fish and disposing of fish on approach of a law enforcement vessel. As the Trident approached with blue lights and siren activated, one of the occupants threw a red grouper over the side as the captain drove the boat. After recovering the out of season grouper, the officers boarded the vessel for a fisheries inspection where they located several more out of season grouper. The occupants and the captain were aware grouper season was closed and there was grouper on board. The captain and occupants responsible for catching and dumping the fish overboard as the law enforcement vessel approached were booked into the Stock Island Jail.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MONROE COUNTY

Officer Dube along with the United States Coast Guard Station Islamorada taught the “Boat Smart” boating course at the History of Diving Museum. Twenty-five students attended the weekend session which included several children. Officer Dube explained FWC core missions in addition to boating safety, dive safety, and laws/regulations for BUI.

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  FWC Enforcement Report April 13-19. All Regions.
Posted by: bigefromlc - 05-04-2018, 01:31 PM - Forum: Conservation and Legal Issues - No Replies

NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Lieutenant Lambert received a complaint that four individuals were smoking marijuana at Fillingim Landing in Perdido River Wildlife Management Area. When Lieutenant Lambert arrived, he noticed the individuals described sitting near the river’s edge. After a brief time, all four individuals were seen smoking marijuana from a large glass pipe. As Lieutenant Lambert approached the group, one subject was attempting to conceal an item in the sand. Lieutenant Lambert located a methamphetamine pipe and a straw that contained drug residue buried in the sand. Additional bags containing methamphetamine and cannabis were located. Officers Allgood and Manning arrived to assist. One subject was arrested and transported to the Escambia County Jail for possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The other subjects were issued notice to appear citations for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

While offshore in federal waters, approximately 17 miles south of Navarre, Officers Rockwell and Matechik along with two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) officers conducted a joint enforcement patrol in the Offshore Patrol Vessel Vigilance. The officers saw a vessel heading north at a slow rate of speed toward state waters. As they approached, they saw one of the occupants filleting triggerfish. The individual was unaware the officers were next to him. He was still in the process of filleting fish when he turned around and noticed the officers next to him watching his actions. Surprised by the officers’ presence, he threw the fish he was filleting in the water. The individual was warned not discard any more fish and the officers conducted a fishery boarding. During the boarding, the officers found the individual and his crew to be in possession of triggerfish fillets, over the bag limit of triggerfish, undersized triggerfish, and possession of red snapper during closed season. The appropriate action was taken for all violations.

While offshore in federal waters aboard the Offshore Patrol Vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officer Nelson boarded a charter vessel approximately 11 miles south of Dog Island. The captain and crew were found to be in possession of gag grouper during federal closure. The appropriate action was taken for the violations.

While offshore in federal waters aboard the Offshore Patrol Vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officer Nelson boarded a vessel and found them to be in possession of undersized black sea bass and some fillets as well. Another boarding, approximately 25 miles south of Alligator Point on a vessel that had previously been found to be in possession of illegal fish, resulted in the officers locating gag grouper during federal closure. The appropriate action was taken for the violations on both stops.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Jarvis responded to a single vessel boating accident that occurred near Crab Island. Through an investigation, the officer determined the vessel involved was a personal watercraft (PWC) with a single occupant. Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Marine Deputy provided information on the accident. The operator suffered a dislocated shoulder and was transported by a friend to a local hospital for treatment. The PWC involved was rented. Officer Jarvis interviewed the operator. The operator was executing a sharp turn when she was ejected off the PWC and, in the process, dislocated her shoulder.

Officer Bartlett was on land patrol in the Eglin Wildlife Management Area and responded to assist Officer White regarding an individual in a closed area. Officer Bartlett located the individual and escorted the driver out of the closed area. Officer Bartlett saw the individual wearing hunter’s camouflage and in possession of a shotgun. The subject explained he was turkey hunting and failed to check the Eglin website regarding the closed area. The subject was issued a notice to appear citation for entering a closed area.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Ramos saw two people fishing at an isolated location near a boat ramp. Officer Ramos conducted a fisheries inspection and asked to see their fishing license. The subjects acted extremely nervous and could not produce a fishing license or any other form of identification. As Officer Ramos continued the investigation and checked one subject for any weapons on his person. The subject attempted to flee on foot. Officer Ramos caught him and a physical encounter ensued until he was placed in handcuffs. The subject who fought with Officer Ramos was arrested and cited for resisting arrest with violence, interference with an FWC Officer and failure to produce a saltwater fishing license.

Lieutenants Hahr and Lambert were patrolling in the Blackwater State Forest when they saw from a concealed location a group of campers talking about smoking cannabis. After a few minutes, a person in the group rolled a cannabis cigarette and passed it around to the other four people. Once they contacted the group, they discovered that the youngest person in the group was only 16 years old and the two older adults were her parents. All five were cited for possession of cannabis and the girl’s parents were cited for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
OKALOOSA COUNTY

Lieutenant Clark provided police presence and traffic control, supported park staff, and assisted with the FWC outreach booth during the 11th Annual Mattie Kelley Family Estuary Festival. It’s estimated over 1500 people participated. Fred Gannon Rocky Bayou State Park hosted the event.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
SUWANNEE COUNTY

Officer Boone spoke to several students at Branford High School. The topics of discussion included public safety, resource conservation and aspects of a career with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Officer Boone attended the annual Catfish Festival in Branford. Approximately 1,000 people were in attendance. There was a boating safety display and Officer Boone answered a broad variety of job-related questions.

LAFAYETTE COUNTY

Officer Davenport taught the law portion of a Hunter Education class. There were several students with parents in attendance for the class. Numerous related questions were answered on the topics of conservational enforcement, public safety and hunting.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
LAKE COUNTY

Officer Scrambling was checking two subjects fishing a small lake in Tavares. During a resource inspection it was determined both men did not have a fishing license. Further investigation revealed one of the men had an active warrant for his arrest. He was subsequently arrested and booked into the Lake County Jail.

Officer Scrambling responded to a brush fire at Lake Griffin State Park in Leesburg. An investigation revealed that a man had started a small campfire in the woods and it got out of control. Officer Scrambling cited the subject appropriately.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer West and personnel from U.S. Coast Guard Station Ponce Inlet were on water patrol in the New Smyrna Beach area when they witnessed a boat run aground on a sandbar. The boat was being operated by an adult male who was the only occupant. After performing a boating safety inspection for the required safety equipment, the operator showed signs of impairment. He was subsequently arrested for boating under the influence (BUI) and booked into the Volusia County Jail.

MARION COUNTY

Prior to the 2018 spring turkey season, Officers Dias and Hargabus located a baited area and folding chair on private land bordering Halpata Preserve. After checking back on the area, they found where a turkey had been taken. Investigator Sumpter was assisting with checking on the area and caught the subject attempting to take turkeys within 100 yards of the bait. The adult male was placed under arrest for attempting to take turkeys within 100 yards of a bait station, hunting with a revoked hunting license, and having outstanding warrants out of Sumter County.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
ST. JOHNS COUNTY

Officers Miller, Harris, Graves, Thomas, Lawrence and Greenier, Lieutenant Zukowsky, and St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office Marine Deputy Underwood assisted Northeast Regional Biologist Kropp and his team with the posting of the shorebird nesting area on Julia’s Island. The island, just northeast of downtown St. Augustine on the Intracoastal Waterway, has been home to several species of shorebird and wading birds during the annual nesting season (April through August). The group of officers and biologists identified the nesting areas on the island and segregated them from other areas of the popular boating site by posting shorebird signage and boundary twine.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
ST. JOHNS COUNTY

Officers Thomas and Harris participated in the law enforcement escort/procession at sea for slain Texas Tech University Officer Floyd East, Jr. The event was spearheaded by the St. Augustine Police Department. Officer East’s cremated remains were entombed in a reef ball and, per his family’s request, were laid to rest at the Andy King artificial reef approximately eight miles southeast of St. Augustine Inlet. Public service agencies with participating vessel escorts included the FWC, St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, St. Augustine Police and Fire/Rescue Departments, and U.S. Coast Guard Station Mayport.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
CHARLOTTE COUNTY

Officers Mitchell, Price, and Lieutenant Frantz responded to a call about a boating accident involving a tow boat. The officers determined that the tow boat operator was towing in a boat with several occupants on board when some of the occupants were ejected into the water. Everyone was able to get back to safety aboard the vessel and were brought to shore where medical services were waiting. One of the individuals suffered an injury to her ankle and was transported to the hospital for examination. The accident investigation is ongoing.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on patrol, Officer Bibeau received a call from dispatch advising him that three individuals were catching and keeping snook with the use of a net in Upper Tampa Bay. Officer Bibeau arrived on scene a short time later and located the subjects’ vehicle. He waited in a concealed location and contacted the individuals as they were preparing to leave the area. Officer Bibeau conducted a fisheries inspection and located one undersized sheepshead, one undersized trout, one undersized red drum, and 10 undersized snook, all of which had been caught with a cast net. The smallest snook was 7 inches and the largest 12 inches. Officer Bibeau wrote the subjects a total of 11 misdemeanor citations and four warnings for the fisheries violations.

While on patrol at the Courtney Campbell Bridge, Officer Martinez saw a subject cast netting fish along the seawall. He approached the man and performed a resource inspection of his catch and found him to be in possession of seven undersized sheepshead, the largest one measuring 8½ inches. Officer Martinez seized the fish and cited the man for being in possession of undersized sheepshead.

While on land patrol, Officers Caldwell and Messman saw an individual throwing a cast net on the Alafia River. They watched the individual fish and when he waded back to shore, they initiated a resource inspection. Through the course of the inspection they found the individual to be in possession of a 14 and 15-inch snook. He was cited for possession of undersized snook and illegal method of take (cast net) of snook.

While on patrol at Williams Park, Officer Pettifer saw an individual operating a vessel and having trouble docking. Officer Pettifer approached the vessel from the dock and offered assistance. The operator refused to accept any help. The vessel eventually docked and Officer Pettifer initiated a boating safety inspection. Through the course of the inspection, signs of alcohol impairment were coming from the vessel operator. The operator was requested to perform standardized seated field sobriety tasks. Based on Officer Pettifer’ s observations, the operator was cited and arrested for operating a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired. At the jail he refused to submit to a breath test and was issued a civil penalty for refusing to submit to a lawful test of his breath.

LEE COUNTY

Officer Winton and FWC Intern Shindel were on vessel patrol in Pine Island Sound when they saw a commercial stone crab vessel transiting in from offshore waters. Officer Winton noticed that the vessel was carrying many stone crab traps, so he stopped the vessel in order to conduct a resource inspection. During the inspection it was determined that the vessel’s occupants were in possession of 52 undersized stone crab claws. The captain of the vessel was issued a notice to appear for the violation, and the undersized claws were retained as evidence.

Officer Winton was on vessel patrol at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River when he saw a fishing vessel returning from offshore waters. The vessel was stopped so that a fisheries inspection could be conducted. The captain stated that they had caught two red grouper as well as Spanish mackerel. The captain produced both red grouper, one of which measured well under the minimum size limit. Officer Winton searched the vessel and located an additional undersized red grouper in the live-well. The captain of the vessel was issued a notice to appear for the violations.

Officers Winton and Hazelwood were on land patrol targeting night time Wildlife Management Area (WMA) violations when they saw a vehicle driving erratically and failing to maintain a single lane. A traffic stop was conducted and the driver was exhibiting signs of impairment. Field sobriety tasks were completed and it was determined that the driver was operating his vehicle while his normal faculties were impaired. The driver was placed under arrest for DUI and was transported to the Lee County jail where he refused to provide a breath sample.

MANATEE COUNTY

While on patrol around Long Boat Pass, Officer Gonzales stopped an individual for a boating safety inspection. During the stop it was apparent that the operator of the vessel was under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. Officer Gonzales performed field sobriety tasks on the subject to determine his level of impairment. After the officer completed his investigation the operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence. The operator submitted to a breath test at the Manatee County jail and blew over the legal limit of .08 breath alcohol content. He will have to appear in court for his violations.

Officer Martinez received a wildlife alert stating that a male was trespassing and cast netting in a community pond. He arrived on scene and saw the man throwing a cast net into the water. Officer Martinez performed a resource inspection of the man’s catch and found him to be in possession of two black bass and multiple tilapia. It is illegal to take freshwater game fish by any method other than rod and reel. Officer Martinez cited the subject for illegal method of take for freshwater game fish.

PASCO COUNTY

Lieutenant Parisoe was on land patrol around Serenova Preserve. In the parking area, he noticed several individuals that had returned from fishing. Lieutenant Parisoe conducted a resource inspection and found in their cooler an alligator that was approximately four feet in length. An investigation revealed that one of the individuals had caught and subsequently harvested the alligator. Appropriate citations were issued for the violation and the alligator was seized as evidence.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on patrol at the Tierra Verde Bridge, Officer Martinez saw three males fishing from the seawall. As Officer Martinez approached the males one of them turned towards the car behind him, tucked something into the door jamb, then promptly closed the door and began walking away from the car. Officer Martinez began a resource inspection and found the males to be in possession of two undersized seatrout. He then walked around the vehicle to see if anymore coolers or buckets were inside the vehicle. He noticed a baggy of marijuana in the driver’s side door jamb. Officer Martinez conducted an inspection of the vehicle and found 16 baggies of cocaine in the door jam. He interviewed the three males and at the end of his investigation arrested one subject for possession of cocaine and possession of cocaine with intent to sell. He also cited one of the other subjects for possession of undersized sea trout.

While on patrol in Gulfport, Officer Martinez saw a subject cast netting into a canal.
Officer Martinez watched him fish, catch fish with his cast net and store the fish in a bucket. Once the subject was through fishing, Officer Martinez approached him and performed a resource inspection. He found several mullet and a juvenile tarpon. He asked the subject if he had a tarpon tag and the man advised that he did not. Officer Martinez seized the juvenile tarpon and cited the subject for illegal method of take of tarpon and harvesting a tarpon without a tarpon tag.

Officer Martinez was patrolling at Gandy Beach when he saw a vehicle parked on the beach after the designated beach hours. He approached the vehicle and spoke to three subjects who were sitting in and around the vehicle. As he told them that they were trespassing he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Officer Martinez then found marijuana residue and 1½ ecstasy pills in the vehicle. He read the subjects their Miranda warnings and post Miranda one of the subjects claimed the drugs were hers. The female subject had a bookbag which she admitted contained more marijuana. Officer Martinez searched the bag and found 132 grams of marijuana, 36 alprazolam pills, as well as baggies and scales. The subject was arrested and cited accordingly.

While on patrol at the Fort Desoto Pier, Officer Martinez saw a male fishing towards the end of the pier. He introduced himself and performed a resource inspection of the subject’s catch. The subject had 10 undersized mackerel. Officer Martinez seized the fish and cited the man for being in possession of 10 undersized Spanish mackerel.

While on patrol Officer Pettifer saw a jet ski operating on plane in a slow speed zone near the Gandy Bridge. Upon conducting a vessel stop and subsequent boating safety inspection, Officer Pettifer determined the individual operating the jet ski had rented the jet ski. He did not possess a boating safety card and was not required to take the temporary boating safety course by the individual who rented the jet ski. Officer Pettifer remained on scene for approximately 30 minutes until the owner came to pick up the jet ski. After interviewing the owner of the jet ski, Officer Pettifer determined he rented two jet skis, did not have insurance, and did not require the operators to take a boating safety course. The owner was issued two citations for renting a jet ski without the required insurance and allowing an individual to rent a jet ski without providing the required boating safety course.

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Messman saw two individuals sitting in a truck with fishing gear loaded in the truck bed. Officer Messman approached the individuals and asked them if they caught any fish. One of the individuals stated they did not have any luck. Officer Messman saw a cooler and obtained consent to search it. The cooler contained one gag grouper, two undersized mangrove snapper, and one undersized lane snapper. The individual in possession of the cooler was cited for possession of gag grouper during a closed season and possession of undersized mangrove snapper. He was issued a warning for possession of undersized lane snapper.

POLK COUNTY

Captive Wildlife Investigator Hough and Lieutenant DeLacure worked a case follow-up on an individual that was in unlawful possession of a Class II green monkey in North West Lakeland. They spoke with the defendant’s mother and the defendant agreed to come to his mother’s residence with the monkey. Prior to arrival, he dropped the animal off at another family member’s residence. The defendant was interviewed and produced paperwork for the supplier of the monkey and agreed to take Investigators to where the monkey was concealed. Investigator Hough cited the defendant, who had smuggled the monkey into Florida from Mexico, with unlawful possession of class II green monkey without license, unlawful importation of wildlife without an official certificate of veterinary inspection, possession of class II primate at an unpermitted location, and tampering with evidence. The defendant was incarcerated in the Polk County Jail due to flight risk. The class II green monkey was transported and boarded at a licensed primate facility.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
PINELLAS COUNTY

Officer Ferguson worked the “Shark Bite Challenge,” a kayak, paddleboard, and outrigger vessel race that brings contestants from around the world to compete. During the outrigger races, two of the vessels capsized in four-foot seas ejecting the occupants. With the assistance of a rescue diver, Officer Ferguson rescued two racers who were struggling to stay afloat in the rough seas due to exhaustion and cramping. All individuals were safely returned to land with no major injuries occurring.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
LEE COUNTY

Officers Hazelwood and Stapleton along with Lieutenants Barrett and Ruggiero responded to a creek on the Caloosahatchee River to rescue a manatee that was injured and suffering. When the officers arrived on scene, they found the manatee unable to swim properly due to a pneumothorax in its lung, which causes air to become trapped in the manatee’s chest and collapse its lungs. They also noticed the manatee had a small calf with it and was swimming alongside. FWC biologists from the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) assembled a rescue team to attempt to capture the manatees and treat the injury. As a crowd gathered to witness the injured manatee, the team moved quickly and captured both manatees. The officers helped load the manatees into the back of a rescue truck where they were transported to Tampa for treatment.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
MARTIN COUNTY

Officer McLeod and Reserve Officer Bingham received a complaint that two large motor vessels were aground along the northern shoreline of the western end of the Jensen Beach Causeway. Small-craft advisories were in affect throughout the area. The winds out of the south were extreme and gusting above 25 MPH. When they arrived, they saw two large motor yachts hard aground on the rocks. The owners were contacted and advised to expeditiously remove their vessels from the rocks as soon as the weather allowed for recovery efforts.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Pecko, Hankinson, Schroer, and Boyd worked Floatopia at Peanut Island. Numerous violations were handled accordingly. During the event, 2 vessels sank and Officers Pecko and Hankinson worked the boating accidents.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
GLADES COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was on patrol along the Caloosahatchee River in Moore Haven when he saw a vessel which appeared to be in distress attempting to anchor in the channel. The vessel’s dinghy had broken free and drifted into some rocks. Officer Brodbeck got his patrol vessel and called Officer Dial to meet at a nearby ramp. Once on the water, the officers contacted the sailboat owner and informed him of incoming severe weather. The owner told the officers that he had already called for a tow service for his disabled vessel and that they would arrive in several hours. The owner also was suffering from various health conditions. The officers decided to tow the vessel to a nearby public dock due to the circumstances. A nearby boater offered to recover the dinghy.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Two officers on water patrol responded to the area of Sunset Harbor for what was initially believed to be a sinking vessel that had been reported to FWC by US Coast Guard. Upon arrival, FWC officers found the Coast Guard already on scene with a rented personal watercraft (PWC) and two operators. They said they rented the PWC from a nearby livery and that the PWC started to sink. The FWC officers conducted a livery inspection and discovered that the livery employee knowingly (or should have known based upon weight information on the two driver licenses) allowed the weight capacity of the PWC to be exceeded by almost 100 lbs. Additionally, the fire extinguisher on the rented PWC was non-serviceable and the livery had not posted the legally required signage at the business premises. A warrant check was conducted on the livery employee and the officers were advised that he had an active bench warrant for his arrest for previous livery violations. The livery employee was arrested for the bench warrant and cited for additional livery violations based upon this event.

An officer and a lieutenant were on water patrol recently when they stopped a fishing vessel returning to Crandon Park Marina. Two very large houndfish (non-regulated) not in whole condition were plainly visible in the bottom of the small vessel. An inspection of the rest of their catch revealed three bonefish (a catch and release only species) and a very undersized barracuda. Both subjects received citations for the violations.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Plussa, Arbogast, and Thurkettle were conducting boating safety enforcement near Keewaydin. During one stop they found an impaired owner with a sober operator. They thanked the designated driver for operating the vessel and instructed the owner not to do so due to his impaired state. Less than a half-hour later, Officer Plussa encountered the vessel in a nearby waterway with the impaired owner at the controls operating the vessel. Officer Plussa conducted a BUI investigation and the intoxicated driver did not even recall their previous encounter less than a half-hour before. The operator was arrested for boating under the influence and booked into the Collier County Jail. Officers Arbogast and Thurkettle assisted with the other occupants and the vessel.

Officers Yurewitch and Knutson were conducting boating safety enforcement in the Naples area when they saw a vessel containing multiple small children not wearing life jackets. They conducted an inspection and found it to be a livery vessel that was not properly equipped with youth-sized life jackets. Officers Yurewitch and Knutson escorted the vessel back to the rental company and conducted an investigation. They found that the rental company had failed to provide the customer with the right size life jackets for the children – a criminal violation of Florida law. The employee who negligently rented the ill-equipped vessel was charged accordingly.

Officer Plussa was conducting water patrol near Keewaydin when he saw a PWC almost strike another vessel. Officer Plussa conducted a stop and found a 10-year-old child operating the PWC with a teenager onboard with multiple safety violations and an expired registration. Observing the stop, a second PWC with the child’s parent onboard pulled alongside and attempted to deflect the stop. A subsequent inspection found that he had multiple safety violations and an expired registration as well. Officer Plussa explained the dangers of a child operating a PWC, that it was a criminal law violation, and the other violations. The teenager was cited for no boating ID card and the adult received a combination of citations and warnings for the violations. The initial PWC was escorted to shore whereby a second adult operator took control of the PWC.

MONROE COUNTY

Investigator Mattson was on water patrol around Islamorada when he saw a young boy (Age 8) operating a wave runner with the father on the back. The boy was operating the throttle and steering as the father had his hands down by his sides. The man was cited for allowing operation of PWC by someone under 14 years of age.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

FWC participated in a Beach and Reef Clean-up with Crandon Park staff. They dedicated the morning of Earth day to assisting divers and paddle boarders with removing debris from the reef. Nearly 1,000 pounds of waste was removed from the ocean.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Yaxley conducted an outreach event at the Terracina Grand, an assisted living facility in North Naples. There were multiple residents and staff members in attendance who learned about native wildlife and about the duties and responsibilities of FWC officers in Collier County.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
COLLIER COUNTY

Officers Kleis and Arbogast conducted speed enforcement in one of the county’s panther zones. The officers stopped multiple vehicles for speeding and educated the public on the importance of panther zones. The officers issued multiple warnings and 4 citations with mandatory court appearances for speeds in excess of 30 MPH over the posted speed limit. The highest recorded speed for the night was 89 MPH in a 45 MPH zone.

Officers Plussa, Knutson, Yurewitch, Arbogast, and Thurkettle conducted targeted boating safety enforcement over the busy boating weekend, focusing on BUI interdiction, safety equipment, and boating safety ID card violations. Collectively, they checked 120 users aboard 30 vessels, issuing 15 citations, 45 written warnings, provided education to 60 individuals, and assisted several others with disabled vessels. During their directed patrol efforts, they made multiple criminal cases involving BUI, children operating PWCs, and criminal livery violations.

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  FWC Enforcement Report April 6-12. All Regions.
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NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
BAY COUNTY

Officer Basford conducted several inspections on Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) commercial vessel landings at a local fish house. She inspected several commercial vessels that were all in compliance. The last vessel she checked landed with no gulf reef fish permit and no saltwater products license. The captain of the vessel was issued citations for no gulf reef fish permit and no saltwater products license. He was also issued written warnings for no registration certificate on board and no sound producing device.

While on patrol in the Offshore Patrol Vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officer Nelson stopped two different vessels at approximately 11 and 13 nautical miles offshore. The occupants of both vessels were found to be in possession of gag grouper during federal closure. The appropriate action was taken for the violations.

While on patrol in the Offshore Patrol Vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officer Nelson were making a final approach to an anchored vessel approximately 15 nautical miles south of Dog Island when one of the five occupants began throwing red snapper fillets and cut pieces overboard. Further inspection revealed additional red snapper pieces cut up and some were located on the fishing hooks they were using. The appropriate action was taken regarding possession of red snapper during federal closure, failure to land in whole condition, use of reef fish for bait, and throwing fish overboard upon approach by law enforcement.

While on patrol in the Offshore Patrol Vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officer Nelson stopped a vessel at the “C” Tower in federal waters. During the inspection of the vessel, the occupants were found to be in possession of undersized gray triggerfish and possession of gag grouper during federal closure. The appropriate action was taken for the violations.

While on patrol in the Offshore Patrol Vessel Intrepid, Lieutenant Marlow and Officer Nelson stopped a commercial charter vessel approximately 30 nautical miles south of Cape San Blas. The occupants of the vessel were found to be in possession of gag grouper during federal closure and the charter vessel had an expired federal charter permit. The appropriate action was taken for the violations.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officers Peterson and Sauls were working an oyster detail in the Eastpoint Area and saw a vessel returning from harvesting oysters. The officers stopped the boat near the west end of the Eastpoint Channel and inspected a bag of oysters. After counting and measuring each individual oyster they determined the bag contained 41% undersized oysters. Officer Peterson cited the subject and returned 113 undersized oysters to the water alive.

Officers Pestka, Sauls, and Peterson were working an oyster detail in the Eastpoint area and saw a vessel returning from harvesting oysters. Officer Pestka stopped the boat near the Eastpoint Boat Ramp and inspected a bag of oysters. After counting and measuring each individual oyster, she determined the bag contained 58% undersized oysters. Officer Pestka cited the subject and returned 203 undersized oysters to the water alive.

LEON COUNTY

Officer Anderson was on patrol at Bull Headley Landing on Lake Iamonia when he saw a female operating her vehicle at the ramp. As he approached the vehicle, he smelled the odor of alcohol. The subject had slurred speech, along with bloodshot eyes. Officer Anderson administered the standard battery of field sobriety tasks and the subject showed several signs of impairment. The subject was arrested for DUI. Officer Mallow joined Officer Anderson at the Leon County Detention Facility to conduct the breath alcohol test which resulted in .159 BAC and .144 BAC, almost twice the legal limit. The subject was booked into the Leon County Detention Facility for DUI.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Bartlett was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Destin area when he saw an overloaded pontoon boat that was sitting dangerously low in the water. The officer engaged his emergency lights and siren attempting to stop the vessel. The operator continued to motor the boat until it grounded on the shore. Officer Bartlett saw two individuals quickly exit the pontoon holding a brown bag running in the direction of the parking lot and sand dunes. The officer gave loud verbal commands for the individuals to stop running and return to the boat. Officer Jarvis quickly responded by land to assist Officer Bartlett. The two individuals were located and returned to the boat. Officer Bartlett suspected the juveniles were in possession of an alcoholic beverage. Both individuals were cited and issued notice to appear citations for interference with an FWC Officer. The boating safety inspection revealed a total of 14 passengers on board. The vessel maximum capacity was eight passengers. There also was an insufficient number of life jackets for all the passengers. The operator was cited for both violations.

Officer Nichols responded to a complaint of a bear in garbage at a residence in the Mary Esther community off Highway 98 West. During the past year, this same homeowner had a bear get into his garbage can and was advised of the law to secure his garbage can. Officer Nichols provided the homeowner with a bear brochure and hardware to secure the garbage can. The homeowner was issued a notice of non-compliance letter.

Lieutenant Clark responded to a complaint of a bear in garbage at a residence in the Mary Esther community off Highway 98 West. This community borders the Eglin Air Force Base property and is a known area of bears getting into garbage cans. Lieutenant Clark had previously contacted the homeowner last year and provided a bear brochure and explained the laws in securing food attractants. The homeowner was issued a notice of non-compliance letter.

Officer Lewis was on patrol in the Blackwater River State Forest when he spoke with a man who was driving out of a campsite. When Officer Lewis requested his driver license, the man stated that he did not have a driver license because it was suspended. A subsequent search revealed a cannabis smoking pipe, a methamphetamine smoking pipe, methamphetamine, and various other paraphernalia in the vehicle. The man and woman were charged with possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, possession of drug paraphernalia, and knowingly driving while driver license suspended. Both subjects were transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Officer Gore was on patrol in the Econfina Wildlife Management Area when he saw a vehicle driving recklessly. A traffic stop and investigation revealed methamphetamine, marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and possession of open container of alcohol. The subjects are facing felony and misdemeanor charges.

Officer Gore was on patrol at Culpepper Landing on Holmes Creek when he was given information of a vessel being operated in a reckless manner. According to witnesses, the vessel came close to striking numerous kayakers and swimmers. A brief time later, a vessel matching the description was seen operating at a high rate of speed, weaving through and driving too close to swimmers and kayakers. The operator was cited for reckless operation of a vessel.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

While on vessel patrol in Escambia Bay, Officer Ramos saw a vessel operating in a restricted military zone. After conducting a vessel stop, he found the vessel to be lacking required safety equipment. A resource inspection was conducted and Officer Ramos determined that the two occupants had been commercial fishing, but only one man had the required saltwater products license (SPL). While inspecting a cooler of fish, a commercial quantity of mullet was found in addition to a concealed undersized black drum measuring 10-1/2 inches, under the required 14 to 24-inch size limit. The captain of the vessel was issued warnings for operating in a restricted zone, missing safety equipment and not having his SPL license available for review. He was issued a citation for the undersized black drum. The second man was issued a citation for engaging in commercial fishing without a saltwater products license.

Officer Ramos was on vessel patrol in the Santa Rosa Sound and conducted a boating safety inspection on a personal watercraft (PWC). The PWC’s annual registration decal was unreadable and Officer Ramos determined that the registration had expired in June 2017. The operator of the PWC advised that he had rented the vessel from a nearby livery. Officer Ramos followed the operator to the livery and contacted management. The livery was issued the appropriate citation and took the vessel out of service pending compliance with state law.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
WALTON COUNTY

Lieutenant Hollinhead, Officers Letcher, Bradshaw, White, Tison, and Reserve Officer Hahr worked a detail on Point Washington Wildlife Management Area (WMA) to address and deter driving on closed roads and destruction of forestry gates. Multiple vehicles were stopped on posted closed roads and the drivers were cited for the violations.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
LEON COUNTY

Officer Pekerol conducted an outreach event at Roberts Elementary. He brought an alligator and gave a presentation about the agency’s mission to approximately 140 students.

Lieutenant Wass de Czege taught the laws portion of the Hunter Safety course which was held at the Jefferson Correctional Institute. There were five students in attendance.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officers Nichols, Bartlett, and Wilkenson assisted Henderson Beach State Park staff by providing security and traffic control during the Easter Sunrise service. It was estimated that more than 5,500 attended the service.

BAY COUNTY

Officer Gore and K-9 Kane attended a public speaking event at Mowat Middle School. Approximately 85 people were educated on FWC law enforcement and outdoor safety.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Maltais provided a presentation to 65 day camp attendees from local military bases. The students’ ages ranged from 8 to 13 years old. The camp was hosted by the 4-H Camp in Timpoochee with assistance from University of Florida-Institute of Agriculture and Services Extension staff from Escambia County. They discussed marine conservation, how local FWC officers patrol and how to report marine or animal issues.

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Officers Greene and Yates attended a Hunter Safety Education Class in Bonifay and instructed the law portion of the class. There were approximately 25 people in attendance.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
ALACHUA COUNTY

After receiving information from Officer Troiano, Officer Stanley began working a bait site on private property. Officer Stanley heard someone calling turkeys from a ground blind. He contacted two hunters in the blind as they were attempting to take turkeys with long bows. The ground blind was approximately 23 yards from an active feeder with whole and cracked corn. Both subjects were issued criminal citations for the violation.

DUVAL COUNTY

A member of a private hunt club came upon a pickup truck and yard trailer that was backed up to the woods with a large pile of litter on the ground next to the trailer gate. The driver of the pickup truck claimed that he had gotten stuck and when the witness began to take photographs of him and his vehicle’s tag number, the suspect left the area without retrieving the litter. Environmental Investigator Terrones and Captive Wildlife Investigator Dorricchi interviewed the suspect who admitted to the littering and agreed to remove the litter and properly dispose of it at a landfill. Appropriate criminal charges were filed.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
ALACHUA COUNTY

Lieutenant Ferguson worked an outreach event at O’Leno State Park. With several hundred people in attendance, the judges selected a winner at the annual chili cook off.

Officer Stanley participated in a vehicle day at W.W. Irby Elementary. He trailered an airboat and spoke to 400 kids about the importance of boating safety.

Officer Stanley taught the law enforcement portion of a hunter safety class in Gainesville.

Lieutenant Ferguson attended a disabled hunt meeting at the Bass Pro in Gainesville. The event will be sponsored by the Bass Pro Shop and will be conducted on several different properties throughout the North Central Region area.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
MARION COUNTY

Officer Rice was conducting overnight surveillance in Ocala Wildlife Management Area (WMA) near Weirsdale when he saw a vehicle slowly moving toward his position. The vehicle was shining a light from the driver’s side of the vehicle in a sweeping back-and-forth motion. The vehicle continued shining as it slowly worked around a closed prairie road to the officer’s position. Officer Rice stopped the adult male driver who was the only occupant. The driver still had the light in his hand and a loaded rifle was located on the front floorboard of the truck. After interviewing the subject, Officer Rice seized the rifle and ammunition and issued the subject a notice to appear for attempting to take deer at night with a gun and light.

BREVARD COUNTY

Officer Hallsten was conducting late night surveillance on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge when he saw a vehicle operating slowly and tapping its brakes. The vehicle made several U-turns and was shining a spotlight out of the window, concentrating on a specific stretch of the rural roadway. At one point the vehicle slowed and the passenger of the vehicle shot at a deer from the roadway. Officer Hallsten left his area of concealment and conducted a vehicle stop. Officer Hallsten detained the passengers and conducted interviews. Officer North and his K-9 arrived on scene and located two of the spent shell casings. The officers were unable to locate the deer, but due to K-9 support were able to match the casings with the weapon found in the vehicle. Office Hallsten booked the driver and passenger into the Brevard County Jail on charges of gun and light at night, attempt to take deer out of season, shooting from the roadway and possession of controlled substance.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officers Bresie and Cameron responded to a vessel crash on the St. John’s River, north of State Road 44, in Deland. A 33’ custom hydro-sports center console, with three 300 HP outboards left the river, crashing through the heavily wooded rivers edge and coming to a rest 50-feet inland. None of the 13 people onboard were seriously injured. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
BREVARD COUNTY

Officers Hallsten, Eller, and Lejarzar conducted an outreach event at the TICO Airshow in Titusville. The officers talked to many people at the event and answered questions about local and statewide issues. The officers’ focus was to reach out and promote career opportunities in FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. The officers were able to build relationships with several interested attendees and put them in touch with the regional recruiter.

SEARCH AND RESCUES
PUTNAM COUNTY

Officers Wester and Campbell responded to a small plane crash on the St. John’s River. The pilot suffered minor injuries and the case was turned over to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP).

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Pettifer initiated a resource inspection. He asked the individual fishing if she caught any fish and she replied she had some fish in a cooler. An inspection of the cooler revealed two undersized 13-inch gag grouper. She was issued a citation for possession of undersized gag grouper.

LEE COUNTY

Officers Winton and Hazelwood were on water patrol in the Caloosahatchee River when they saw a vessel being operated with an expired registration. A vessel stop was conducted and they determined that the vessel was a rental boat. The officers went to the rental location and conducted a livery inspection. They discovered that the owner of the company had not transferred the registration of the involved vessel within 30 days of purchase, and did not have boating safety information displayed at the rental site as required by law. The owner was issued two notices to appear and two written warnings for the related violations.

While on water patrol in the Caloosahatchee River, Officers Winton and Hazelwood saw a vessel being operated without a registration decal. A vessel stop was conducted and the officers discovered that the subjects onboard had been fishing and were in possession of several spotted seatrout. Three of the seatrout measured below the minimum size limit. The operator of the vessel was issued a notice to appear for the violation and a warning for failure to display a registration decal.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officer Gonzales was on land patrol around the South Skyway Fishing Pier. While on patrol he stopped and performed a fisheries inspection on a subject fishing from the pier. Officer Gonzales found that the individual had caught and kept 42 undersized gray (mangrove) snapper. The subject was issued two criminal citations for possession of over the bag limit and undersized grey snapper and will have to appear in court for the violations.

PASCO COUNTY

Officer Pulaski responded to a complaint of a restaurant employee that was discarding the grease from the restaurant into a storm water run-off drain. Officer Pulaski issued several citations for the violation. The Department of Environmental Protection was notified and cleanup has been initiated.

Officers Angelis, Jones, and Investigator Tsongranis responded to a report of people trespassing on a piece of environmentally sensitive county lands. The officers assisted members of the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office with locating the individuals. Approximately 18 people were warned for trespass on the property.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While on land patrol at the Fort Desoto Bridge, Officer Bibeau contacted a group of individuals to conduct a fisheries inspection. The subjects had two out of season and undersized gag grouper, along with one undersized Spanish mackerel. Officer Bibeau read the individuals their Miranda rights, and after a short series of questions one subject admitted to catching all the fish. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for possession of gag grouper during closed season and warnings for the remaining fisheries violations.

While on land patrol near the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Bibeau saw three individuals actively fishing from the shoreline. He contacted the individuals as they were preparing to leave the area to conduct a fisheries inspection. One of the individuals was carrying a large bucket. An inspection of the bucket revealed seven mangrove snapper, three of which were undersized, hidden underneath ladyfish. The individual that was in possession of the bucket admitted to catching all seven snapper. He received a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized mangrove snapper and a warning for harvesting over the daily bag limit of mangrove snapper.

Officers Hughes, Smith, and Lieutenant Wells were on offshore patrol working the recreational fishing fleet off Pinellas County. The officers identified a vessel in the distance that was actively fishing. They approached the vessel and conducted a boarding and fisheries inspection. The officers located multiple undersized red grouper and undersized out of season gag grouper. Some of the red grouper were returned alive to the water. The vessel captain was issued multiple citations for the violations.

POLK COUNTY

While on land patrol Officer DeWeese saw an individual turkey hunting on a private ranch located in Southwest Polk County near a feeder which contained corn and bird seed. Officer DeWeese contacted the subject and he admitted knowing he was hunting near the bait. Officer DeWeese issued the subject a notice to appear for attempting to take turkey over bait.

While on land patrol near Blind Pass, Officer Bibeau saw three individuals actively fishing from a rock jetty. Officer Bibeau watched the individuals from a concealed location and saw them retrieve a hidden stringer of fish from the rocks. Officer Bibeau contacted the individuals at their vehicle and conducted a fisheries inspection. The inspection revealed 15 undersized mangrove snapper and one small mangrove snapper fillet. All three individuals were issued a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized mangrove snapper.

SEARCH AND RESCUES
PASCO COUNTY

Officer Pulaski was on water patrol when he was contacted about an overdue boater. Officer Pulaski, members of New Port Richey Police Department, and the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) conducted the search. The PCSO helicopter located the vessel near the Pithlachascottee River area. Officer Pulaski removed the individual from the disabled vessel and transported him to shore.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
HIGHLANDS COUNTY

Several FWC officers from Polk, Highlands, and Hardee County participated in an active shooter exercise conducted by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office. This was a great opportunity for FWC officers to hone their skills at responding and communicating during a multi-agency exercise. The officers faced challenges such as being unfamiliar with the area they were responding to, working with another agency’s chain of command, and performing clearing drills under realistic conditions.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
BROWARD COUNTY

Officer Tarr responded to a complaint of a person cast netting game fish at the Sawgrass Trailhead Recreation Area. Officer Tarr saw a subject walking to his vehicle with some fishing equipment. A freshwater fisheries inspection found the subject to be in possession of 24 black bass and 32 pan fish. The daily limit for black bass is 5 per person. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for over the bag limit of black bass, an infraction for not having a fishing license, and a warning for illegal method of taking gamefish. All the fish were returned to the water alive.

HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Keen responded to an anonymous tip of an alligator hatchling at a residence in Glades County. Officer Keen located the alligator hatchling and questioned the subject and son on how it came to be at their residence. The subject was issued a noticed to appear citation for possession of an alligator hatchling and a warning to the son for possession of an alligator hatchling.

MARTIN COUNTY

Officers Pecko and Morrow were conducting land based water patrol. They saw a subject in the middle of the roadway having trouble keeping his balance. While trying to identify the subject, drugs and drug paraphernalia were found in the subject’s possession. The subject was arrested and cited accordingly.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

FWC officers and investigators responded to a late-night boating accident at the Spanish River Park in Boca Raton. When they arrived on scene, they were told that a vessel had run aground into the mangroves. The vessel was heading southbound in the ICW at the Spanish River Bridge when the operator encountered a wake from another vessel. When the vessel hit the wake, it launched into the mangroves ejecting the operator. Two other occupants remained on the vessel as it went through the mangroves. A Boca PD marine unit arrived on scene, arrested the operator for BUI and had him transported to the Boca Hospital where he was evaluated and released back to Boca PD with no injuries. He was transported to the Palm Beach County Jail. Occupant 1 was taken to the Delray Medical Center. He received facial lacerations and a fractured skull. Occupant 2 took himself to the Delray Medical Center to be evaluated for a concussion and small lacerations to his face.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Brodbeck was dispatched to a call for assistance from the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office regarding an injured bald eagle. The officer arrived at the described location but was unable to find the eagle. Officer Brodbeck tracked the injured bird across a dirt road and onto a large property. After a 30-40 minute search, the eagle was located and appeared to have a broken wing. With help from Hendry County deputies, the officer was able to capture the eagle and secure it for transport to Sue Arnold’s Wildlife Center located in Okeechobee County. While enroute, Officer Brodbeck received a call from dispatch regarding an injured juvenile sandhill crane near the wildlife center. The officer captured and secured the injured crane and transported both birds to the wildlife center for evaluation and treatment.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

Two officers were on water patrol near Cape Florida Channel checking fishing vessels returning from offshore waters. The occupants of an inspected vessel returning from the Bahamas were found to be in possession of two, one-gallon zip lock bags of skinned grouper fillets. The captain of the vessel was cited for the violation. The officers also cited the captain of another fishing vessel for being in possession of two undersized mahi-mahi.

Captive Wildlife Investigator Landa continued his enforcement efforts targeting the illegal exhibition of wildlife on South Beach. He saw a known subject exhibiting a large snake to the public. This individual had been previously cited for the illegal possession of Burmese pythons and knew it was illegal to exhibit his snakes without a license. Furthermore, the subject did not appear in court for his previous charges and had an active warrant out for his arrest. The subject was arrested and booked into the county jail on the outstanding warrant and received an additional misdemeanor citation for the illegal exhibition of wildlife. Captive Wildlife Investigator Smith, Lieutenant Miranda, and Officer Osorio assisted on this incident.


MONROE COUNTY

Investigators Mattson and Hein were on unmarked water patrol around Indian Key Fill near Islamorada. They saw a vessel on plane passing through a no motor zone. They stopped the rental vessel and a safety inspection revealed that the flares on the rented vessel had expired. The operator received a warning for the speed zone violation. Officers cited the livery operation for renting a vessel with insufficient safety equipment.


COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MONROE COUNTY

Officer Hoppe attended the Coast Guard’s “Boat Safe” day at the Ocean Reef Club in North Key Largo. He handed out numerous “life jackets save lives” wrist bands and discussed the importance of always wearing a life jacket while boating. He worked alongside Coast Guard representatives to deliver the boat safe message to the public on the proper way to boat and how to ensure everyone is being safe.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

FWC participated in a migratory bird release event where more than 100 birds native to south Florida were released at Everglades National Park after they had been seized for being illegally trapped. Five individuals were arrested and the birds were seized as part of a multi-agency operation called “Operation Ornery Birds.”

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  FWC Enforcement Report March 30-April 5. All Regions.
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NORTHWEST REGION
CASES
CALHOUN COUNTY

Officer Hayes located a baited area with cracked corn and bird seed. A few days later, the officer returned and saw an individual actively turkey hunting within 20 yards of the bait. The subject was charged with attempting to take turkey over bait.

Officer Baber located a baited area with cracked corn. A few days later, the officer returned and saw an individual actively turkey hunting within 10 yards of the bait. The subject was charged with attempting to take turkey over bait.

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

While working on the Pensacola Bay Bridge, Officer Cushing checked two subjects at the back of a pickup truck. The tailgate was covered with blood, guts, fish scales and a fillet knife was present. Both individuals had blood on their hands as well. One of the subjects stated that he had a small redfish. Officer Cushing located two fillets in a brown paper bag in the bed of the truck. A citation was issued for failure to land in whole condition.

FRANKLIN COUNTY

Officer Richardson and Reserve Officer Martin were working an oyster detail in the Eastpoint area. They saw a vessel returning from harvesting oysters to the Eastpoint Boat Ramp. Officer Richardson stopped the vessel and determined that the oysters onboard were untagged. Officer Richardson cited the subject for untagged oysters. Both bags of oysters were seized and returned alive to the Apalachicola Bay.

GULF COUNTY

Officer Lipford was on water patrol when he stopped a vessel to perform a resource inspection. The vessel had one occupant and was returning from Lake Wimico. After Officer Lipford greeted the subject and asked him if he caught any fish, the man stated that he caught some shellcracker. After a visual inspection of the vessel’s live well and cooler, Officer Lipford discovered the occupant had a few shellcracker, but also 20 black bass,15 over his legal daily bag limit of 5. The individual was issued a notice to appear for the violation.

HOLMES COUNTY

Officer Yates completed an investigation stemming from information received from the Holmes County Sheriff’s Office in January. During a warrant arrest, the Sheriff’s Office saw a freshly killed doe deer at the address of the arrestee. Officer Yates documented the scene, recently completed an interview, and filed charges for possession of antlerless deer during closed season.

JACKSON COUNTY

Officer Little located and checked an individual actively turkey hunting within 30 yards of cracked corn and millet seed. The subject was cited for attempting to take turkey over bait.

Officer Forehand located a blind with cracked corn spread within 20 yards of the concealed location. A few days later, Officer Forehand watched a subject approach and enter the blind. A brief time later, a gobbler and hen turkey came into the baited area. The subject shot both turkeys and was subsequently charged with taking turkey over bait and taking hen turkey during closed season.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Pifer was called out to assist Eglin Range Patrol with a traffic stop they had conducted on a vehicle operating in the Eglin Wildlife Management Area (WMA) during prohibited hours. Eglin Range Patrol informed Officer Pifer that the occupants of the vehicle were in possession of drugs and firearms. A search of the vehicle revealed more than 20 grams of cannabis inside the vehicle in vacuum sealed packages, Alprazolam pills, two handguns (one of which was confirmed stolen out of Okaloosa County), ammunition, two scales, a vacuum sealer, numerous resealable bags and rubber bands. One individual was arrested for accessing the Eglin WMA during prohibited hours and for possession of a concealed firearm. The second individual was arrested for accessing the Eglin WMA during prohibited hours. During a search of the second individual, half of an Alprazolam pill and $1952 in cash was located. The second individual was additionally charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Officer Pifer was conducting fisheries inspections on the Okaloosa Island Fishing Pier when he contacted an individual who was actively engaged in fishing. A resource inspection revealed a total of 67 Spanish mackerel, six of which were undersized. The individual was fishing alone and claimed some of the fish were given to him by other individuals. State law prohibits the possession of more than 15 Spanish mackerel while on a pier. The individual was cited for possessing over the bag limit and possession of undersized Spanish mackerel.

Officers Pifer and Corbin were on water patrol when they saw two individuals fishing from shore at a county park. The officers beached their vessel to conduct a resource inspection. The two individuals were unable to produce saltwater fishing licenses. When asked, one of the individuals stated there was a cooler in the bed of the truck with fish inside. An inspection of the cooler revealed three undersized mangrove snapper. Officer Pifer cited the individual in control of the truck for possession of undersize mangrove snapper. Both individuals were warned for no saltwater fishing license.

Officer Corbin was on land patrol and responded to a complaint of a vehicle stuck in a wet weather pond on Eglin Wildlife Management Area. The officer arrived and saw a Toyota truck stuck with its frame sitting in wet mud in a closed area. Officer Corbin determined the driver was recreating in a closed area and damaging lands. The driver was issued a notice to appear citation.

Officers Pifer and Corbin were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Destin area. The officers saw a pontoon with seven adults and four children on board. Two children were not wearing the correct size life jackets and one child was not wearing a life jacket at all. All three of the children were under six years of age and required to wear life jackets while the vessel is underway. The officers determined the pontoon was rented. Officer Corbin contacted and met with the owners/renters of the pontoon. The livery inspection resulted in notice to appear citations to the owner for renting a vessel without the required boating safety equipment, boating safety information not displayed at livery location and person providing pre-ride/rental instructions not taking an approved boating safety course.

Officer Nichols was on land patrol and responded to Henderson Beach State Park regarding an individual who was harassing females. The subject was following them into the restrooms and saying obscenities. An Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Deputy and Officer Nichols located the subject. During their communication, the subject had slurred speech and appeared very confused. The male subject stated he had consumed three bottles of cough medicine and requested medical attention. Officer Nichols contacted Emergency Medical Service personnel. The subject was issued a no trespass warning for Henderson Beach State Park and Rocky Bayou State Park.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

While on vessel patrol in Escambia Bay, Officer Ramos saw a vessel operating in a restricted military zone. After conducting a vessel stop, he found the vessel to be lacking required safety equipment. A resource inspection was conducted and Officer Ramos determined that the two occupants had been commercial fishing, but only one man had the required saltwater products license (SPL). While inspecting the cooler of fish, a commercial quantity of mullet was found, in addition to a concealed undersized black drum measuring 10-1/2 inches, under the required 14 to 24-inch slot limit. The captain of the vessel was issued warnings for operating in a restricted zone, missing safety equipment and not having his SPL license available for review. He was issued a citation for the undersized black drum. The second man was issued a citation for engaging in commercial fishing without a saltwater products license.

Officer Ramos was on vessel patrol in the Santa Rosa Sound and conducted a boating safety inspection on a personal watercraft (PWC). The PWC’s annual registration decal was unreadable and Officer Ramos determined that the registration had expired in June 2017. The operator of the PWC advised that he had rented the vessel from a nearby livery. Officer Ramos followed the operator to the livery and contacted management. The livery was issued the appropriate citation and took the vessel out of service pending compliance with state law.

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Officer Gore was on patrol at Culpepper Landing on Holmes Creek when he was given information of a vessel being operated in a reckless manner. According to witnesses, the vessel came close to striking numerous kayakers and swimmers. A brief time later, a vessel matching the description was observed operating at a high rate of speed, weaving through and driving too close to swimmers and kayakers. The operator was cited for reckless operation of a vessel.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
BAY COUNTY

Officer Gore and K-9 Kane attended a public speaking event at Mowat Middle School. Approximately 85 people were educated on FWC law enforcement and outdoor safety.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officer Maltais provided presentation to 65 day camp attendees from local military bases. The students’ ages ranged from 8 to 13 years old. The camp was hosted by the 4-H Camp in Timpoochee with assistance from University of Florida-Institute of Agriculture and Services Extension staff from Escambia County. They discussed marine conservation, how local FWC officers patrol and how to report marine or animal issues.

WASHINGTON COUNTY

Officers Greene and Yates attended a Hunter Safety Education Class in Bonifay and instructed the law portion of the class. There were approximately 25 people in attendance.

NORTH CENTRAL REGION
CASES
TAYLOR COUNTY

Officers Robson and Wilder were on patrol in a private hunting club when they saw fresh turkey scratch and feathers in the road. While inspecting the turkey feathers and scratch they were met by an individual who claimed he had taken a turkey there earlier that morning. After further inspection of the turkey scratch, Officer Wilder saw bird seed in the road and advised the individual of his findings. An interview was conducted with the individual and it was determined that the turkey was taken within 100 yards over a baited area. The individual received a citation for taking turkey over bait, the turkey was seized and donated to a local charity.

Officers Dasher and Albritton were working in a turkey hunting area when they encountered three individuals in possession of firearms. During an investigation the officers backtracked where the subjects had been and determined that they had been felony trespassing on private property. After further investigation the officers had enough information to direct file charges of felony trespass against two of the subjects and issue the third a written warning for misdemeanor trespass. One subject was booked into the Taylor County Jail on an active warrant.

On the opening day of Spring turkey season, Officers Dasher and Albritton located two baited blinds on private property in Taylor county. The officers saw turkey feathers lying in cracked corn about 10 feet from one of the blinds. The following weekend, Officers Albritton, Robson and Wilder returned to the property to check the baited sites. A subject drove to their location by ATV and began hunting from one of the baited blinds. The officers listened as he worked a turkey call from the blind and heard him shoot. Upon inspection the officers found that the subject had shot a gobbler as it was feeding on the corn in front of his blind but did not kill it. During an interview the subject admitted to the officers that he shot a gobbler out of the baited blind where the turkey feathers were located on opening weekend and produced a photo with him in possession of that turkey. The man was cited for attempting to taking turkey over bait as well as taking a turkey over bait on opening weekend.


Officers Robson, Colasanti and Wilder were on foot patrol on a private piece of land near County Road 14 and Highway 19. The officers were checking on a spot known to have cracked corn in a feeder that was positioned approximately 10-15 yards away from a blind. The officers heard a turkey call being worked from the direction where the blind was located. The officers made contact with the adult and a juvenile in the blind and conducted an interview. The subject stated he knew he was hunting over bait. Officer Colasanti issued the adult subject a notice to appear for attempting to take turkey over bait.

ALACHUA COUNTY

Officers Stanley, Reith and Lieutenant Ferguson were all able to make charges on opening weekend for individuals attempting to take turkey over baited areas. Between the three officers, five different individuals were cited throughout the county.

CITRUS COUNTY

Officer Nathaniel Cheshire was scouting for turkey bait in Citrus County when he decided to check an old bait site from the previous year. He saw a game camera along with evidence that led him to believe the site was being used to hunt turkey over bait. Officers Cheshire and Reid returned to the site early the next morning and located two subjects set up near the baited area. The officers listened to the subjects calling for turkey using a turkey call. Upon further investigation it was discovered that a turkey had been harvested over the bait. The subjects were issued citations and the turkey was donated to a local charity.

Officer VanNess and Lieutenant Jones were patrolling the shrimp and stone crab separation zones offshore of Citrus County and tracked a four-trawl shrimp boat on their radar plotter that appeared to be fishing in a closed zone. The officers documented the shrimp boat’s track as it continued to travel into Zone 4. Using the cover of darkness, the officers closed in behind the shrimp boat and positioned their patrol boat directly astern. As the officers observed the crew haul their nets out of the water they noticed that one of the crew members had exited the wheelhouse and crept out onto the outrigger. The officers could clearly see that the crew member was kicking a fouled stone crab trap off the shrimp trawl frame. The officers quickly recovered the trap from the water and recorded the number from the trap’s buoy. The officers stopped the shrimp boat and Officer VanNess boarded the vessel. Officer VanNess found that the operator of the shrimp boat did not have the closed zones loaded into his navigation equipment. The same vessel had been involved in two similar incidents from 2015 to 2018. The operator was issued a citation to appear in Citrus County Court for the use of shrimp trawls in closed area.

Lt. Jones was patrolling offshore of Citrus County when he located a line of stone crab traps in Zone 5 of the Citrus-Hernando stone crab / shrimp zones. Zone 5 is closed to stone crab traps on March 1. A total of 52 traps were documented as being in the closed area. Officer Suttles contacted the trap owner to request the traps be moved and issued a citation. The traps were removed the following day by the owner.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
ALACHUA COUNTY

Officer Harris attended an outreach event at Talbot Elementary School. Over 100 students participated in the event throughout the day. Officer Harris spoke about the diverse responsibilities of an FWC Officer and how FWC’s specialized equipment can be used to assist partner agencies.

Officer Stanley spoke to 140 students at the Micanopy Area Cooperative School. A small alligator provided the students an opportunity to enjoy a hands-on experience while they learned interesting safety and conservation facts.

Officer Stanley spoke to 15 students who were part of the PK Yonge Middle School Fishing Club about freshwater fishing rules and regulations, fish identification and boating safety.

SEARCH AND RESCUES
ALACHUA COUNTY

Lieutenant Ferguson and Investigator Bing responded to a call at Blue Springs State Park late Saturday afternoon. It was reported that two teenagers were missing on the Santa Fe River. The mother of the teenagers became worried after she was separated from them earlier in the day and called for assistance. The teens were located at the Highway 47 bridge along the Santa Fe River. Investigator Bing transported the teens back to Blue Springs State Park where their mother was waiting for their arrival. Lieutenant Ferguson and the state park manager retrieved the kayaks and returned them to the family.

CITRUS COUNTY

Officer VanNess responded to a search and rescue of an individual who had become lost while canoeing on the Chassahowitzka River. The last contact that was made by the canoer was several hours prior and he advised he was stuck in the mud. Officer VanNess located the missing canoer and transported him and his canoe back to the ramp.

NORTHEAST REGION
CASES
LAKE COUNTY

While on foot patrol conducting a turkey hunting detail on a private parcel of land in Groveland, Officers Phillips and Teal heard someone using a turkey call from the center of a pasture. They also saw two subjects dressed in camo leaned up against oak trees. After hearing the turkey call again, the officers contacted the subjects. The subjects had turkey calls, shotguns and one bow and were within 26 yards of a feeder hanging in a tree with corn spread out on the ground. Both subjects were cited appropriately for the violations.

BREVARD COUNTY

Officers Balgo and Hallsten were conducting patrols in Merritt Island when they saw a repeat offender catch several oversized black drum. They saw the subject leave after dark with no navigation lights operating and run on plane through a slow speed manatee zone. The officers followed the subject to his vehicle and conducted a resource inspection. The subject did not have a fishing license, did not have a HIN on his vessel and had 10 oversized black drum. Due to the subject’s extensive history in resource violations, the officers attempted to place the subject under arrest but he jumped into a residential canal. Shortly after, the subject was taken into custody without further incident and citations were issued for all violations.

While on patrol at Sebastian Inlet State Park, Lieutenant Lightsey and Officer Dubose conducted resource inspections on a group fishing near the back of the inlet. During the inspection the officers discovered two undersized mangrove snapper and found that they had been caught by an illegal method. A citation was issued for the size violations and a warning was issued for illegal method of take for reef fish.

VOLUSIA COUNTY

Officer North located a ground blind within 30 yards of a feeder and began working it on the second weekend of turkey season. He saw two individuals actively hunting turkeys from the blind. Both men were cited for attempting to take turkey within 100 yards of bait and one was also cited for no turkey permit.

PUTNAM COUNTY

Officer Haskins responded to a landowner complaint of someone hunting turkeys on fenced, posted property without permission. The officer located the individual and saw him in possession of a loaded shotgun and a pistol. The suspect had been legally hunting on Lake George Wildlife Management Area (WMA) adjacent to the property, but had climbed over a gate with no trespassing signs and entered the private property to hunt turkey. He was subsequently arrested for armed trespass. A search incident to arrest revealed a small amount of cannabis and a smoking pipe. The firearms, cannabis and pipe were seized as evidence and the suspect was booked into the Putnam County Jail.

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

Officers Marroquin, Platt, and Eller conducted airboat patrol on the East Marsh of the Upper Saint Johns Wildlife Management Area (WMA) during a weekend event that attracts airboaters from across the area. Utilizing two patrol airboats, the officers conducted 19 vessel stops resulting in 36 boating safety warnings and 5 boating citations. Numerous boaters voiced their appreciation for seeing FWC patrol the area during the event.

While on patrol of Sebastian Inlet State Park Officer Dubose saw a vehicle parked on the sidewalk and pulled over to address the violation. As the officer approached he saw that the man had a fishing pole and was actively fishing. After speaking with the man about his expired fishing license, the officer smelled the odor of cannabis and asked where it was. The man retrieved a jar of cannabis weighing approximately ten grams. A Notice to Appear was issued for possession of cannabis under twenty grams and a warning for expired fishing license.

While on foot patrol of the Wabasso Causeway, Officer Dubose conducted a resource inspection of a man returning from fishing. During the inspection it was revealed the man was in possession of five mangrove snapper, three of which were under the legal minimum size limit of ten inches. A Notice to Appear was issued for the violation.

While on foot patrol of the Wabasso Causeway, Lieutenant Lightsey and Officer Dubose conducted a resource inspection of a man returning from kayak fishing in the Indian River. During their inspection it was revealed the man had an active federal felony warrant. Officer Dubose placed the man under arrest and transported him to the Indian River County Jail.

While on foot patrol at the SR 60 bridge, Officer Dubose conducted a resource inspection of three people fishing from the catwalk. During his inspection he discovered that one woman was in possession of six mangrove snapper. The legal bag limit for mangrove snapper is five per person, per day. Of the six mangrove snapper, only one was over the ten-inch legal minimum length. A citation was issued for possession of undersized mangrove snapper and a warning was issued for being over the daily bag limit.

While on patrol at Sebastian Inlet State Park, Officers Cybula and Kearney conducted resource inspections of anglers on the “T-dock.” While they were approaching, a man reached into his cooler, pulled out a fish and placed it over the railing. The officers approached the man and asked what he was doing with the fish. Officer Cybula leaned over and saw a small black drum lying on the edge of the dock behind the railing. Officer Kearney retrieved the fish and issued the man a Notice to Appear for possession of undersized black drum.

OSCEOLA COUNTY

Officers Summers, Mendelson, and Stelzer were on foot patrol in Deseret Ranch. While conducting surveillance, Officer Summers witnessed two subjects packing up their morning turkey hunt and returning to camp. After investigation of their set up, the three officers found where the blind was set up, evidence of a turkey previously harvested, and a feeder hidden in a cypress head 75 yards away. After interviewing the two subjects back at camp, they stated they were turkey hunting that morning in that location. One subject had knowledge of the feeder, his guest did not. Both subjects were cited for attempting to take turkeys less than 100 yards away from a game feeding station.

SEARCH AND RESCUE
PUTNAM COUNTY

Lieutenant Dickson, Lieutenant Dack, Investigator Wilkenson and Investigator Lasher, along with Officers Chriest, Guirate, Jones, Wester, Lawshe, Ramsey, and Meade responded to assist Putnam County Sheriff’s Office with a search and rescue in Palatka. The search was for two children in a large wooded area. An FWC team found foot sign approximately one mile from the residence and waited for bloodhound teams to arrive before continuing the track on foot. Information was relayed to other teams so they could look for sign ahead of the track. This coordination led to a successful recovery by FWC and the children were turned over to Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and Fire Department for medical evaluation and follow up.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MARION COUNTY

Officers Dias and McGuire participated in the first Florida Forestry’s Operation Outdoor Freedom Wounded Warrior Turkey Hunt on Sunnyhill Restoration Area. It was a one-day hunt with three wounded warriors participating. Officer Dias, along with folks from St. Johns River Water Management District, spent several mornings and evenings prior to the hunt scouting to make the hunt a success. Everyone’s efforts paid off because all three wounded warriors were able to take trophy Osceola Turkeys. Officer Dias guided a wounded warrior on his first ever turkey hunt. He was able to take a turkey that weighed over 20 pounds, sported a 10.5-inch beard and impressive 1 3/8-inch spurs. The wounded warriors couldn’t have been more thankful or appreciative.

OSCEOLA COUNTY

Officers Summers and Mclendon took the FWC wildlife trailer and small live alligators (securely taped for safety) to the Kenansville Swamp Cabbage Festival for public outreach. The officers met several land owners and constituents at the event and were able to answer questions of all varieties. The community showed a strong support of FWC and voiced their appreciation of FWC’s support.

SOUTHWEST REGION
CASES
CHARLOTTE COUNTY

Officer Mitchell received information about a group of individuals causing problems in one of the wildlife management areas, so he coordinated some patrols to address the problems before they got worse. During the detail, officers conducted a coordinated patrol and addressed violations as they encountered them. There was also a county-wide burn ban in effect, so campers were educated about open fires and asked to put them out due to the high risk of major fires. The officers were able to address several individuals who admitted to coming into the management area to party while it was closed. One group attempted to present the officers with daily use permits that they claimed to have paid for, but later admitted they were lying and had not paid the required fee to enter the management area. The appropriate citations and warnings were issued.

HERNANDO COUNTY

Officer Canamero saw three subjects exit a vehicle each armed with a shotgun in Croom Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Officer Canamero contacted the subjects a short time later. They admitted to hunting hogs and squirrels. After further investigation the subjects were charged for hunting in a management area during a closed season.

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

While on patrol, Officer Caldwell saw several individuals fishing under a bridge. A resource inspection revealed one of the individuals to be in possession of an undersized 12-inch snook. He was cited for the violation.

Officer Phillippi was on land patrol in when he was dispatched to a possible snook violation. Upon arrival he contacted a male subject matching the description provided by the complainant. After speaking with the subject, he told Officer Phillippi that he had indeed kept a snook. Officer Phillippi measured the snook which measured 23.5 inches. The subject was cited for possession of undersized snook.

While on land patrol at the 22nd St. Bridge in Tampa, Officer Martinez saw two male subjects loading a small jonboat onto the bed of a pickup truck. Officer Martinez approached the men and performed a resource inspection of their catch. Upon completing the inspection, he found them to be in possession of eight black drum, five of which were oversized (slot limit for black drum is 14-24 inches and you are allowed one drum over the slot). After interviewing both men one of them claimed to have caught four of the five over slot fish. Officer Martinez cited the man for being in possession of three over slot limit of black drum.

While driving on Interstate 4 in Tampa, Lieutenant Van Trees saw a vehicle that appeared to have been in an accident and was facing eastbound in the westbound lanes. Lieutenant Van Trees turned on his emergency lights turned around to assist the vehicle. Fearing that the car was in a hit and run or someone was possibly hurt, Lieutenant Van Trees got behind the vehicle to make sure everything was okay. The driver initially refused to pull over, but eventually did. When the car was put into park, the male driver switched seats with the female passenger. Lieutenant Van Trees approached the vehicle and immediately smelled marijuana coming from the car. After making sure everyone was okay he asked the male for his driver’s license. The subject stated he wasn’t driving and didn’t have a driver’s license. After removing the male from the car, Lieutenant Van Trees told the female that he smelled and saw marijuana in the car and she needed to hand over any drugs in the car. The female subject then produced a bag of marijuana, two bags of cocaine, a bottle of Xanax, and a bottle of oxycodone. Officers Messman and Caldwell arrived to assist and after searching the vehicle, they found the two subjects had nearly $10,000 in cash near where the drugs were initially hidden. After an interview, it was determined the drugs belonged to both subjects and that the female hid them when Lieutenant Van Trees was behind them. Both subjects were booked into jail.

LEE COUNTY

Officer Stapleton and Lieutenant Barrett were patrolling the waters of Pine Island Sound late at night when they spotted a vessel that was sitting still with its navigation lights off. As they watched people on the vessel occasionally turned on and off small flashlights. As the two officers moved closer to investigate, the vessel began heading back to the dock. The officers followed the vessel and stopped it for a boating safety and resource inspection. There were three adults and one juvenile onboard. The officers noted several indicators of impairment in the operator. Officer Stapleton conducted field sobriety exercises and based on his observations arrested the operator for boating under the influence.

Officers Winton and Fogle were conducting a targeted enforcement action (TEA) detail at Estero Bay Preserve State Park late at night when they noticed a suspicious vehicle pull into the entrance area even though the park was closed. The officers watched as both occupants used a lighter for an extended period. A stop was conducted and the vehicle was searched. During the search, the officers discovered crack/cocaine and paraphernalia. The driver of the vehicle was placed under arrest for the violations and transported to the Lee County jail.

Officer Winton conducted a marine sanitation device (MSD) inspection on a floating bait shop at the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. The previous owner had been cited several months prior for MSD violations. During the inspection, Officer Winton discovered that the marine head was plumbed directly overboard. The owner was cited accordingly.

MANATEE COUNTY

Officer Davidson was on land patrol around Lake Manatee and State Road 64. While on patrol, he noticed two men fishing from the SR 64 Bridge that crosses a small portion of Lake Manatee. A resource inspection revealed that the two men had caught and kept 56 striped bass. The two men were 16 fish over their combined bag limit, were issued citations, and will have to appear in court for their violations.

PINELLAS COUNTY

While conducting a resource inspection, Officer Pettifer noticed a mangrove snapper cut up in a manner that was consistent with it being used for bait. He asked the two individuals if they were using the snapper as bait. Both men denied the fish was theirs. Officer Pettifer had both men reel in their fishing lines. An inspection of the lines revealed one of the men had placed a large portion of the mangrove snapper on his hook. He was cited for failure to land mangrove snapper in whole condition.

While on patrol, Lieutenant Laskowski saw an individual in waders carrying a fishing pole emerge from a path in the mangroves. The man advised he did not catch any fish. Lieutenant Laskowski noticed the man had a hook affixed to his fishing pole used for live bait but was not carrying a bait bucket. When asked where his bait was the man admitted to hiding the bait bucket along the path. A fish bag containing five redfish was tied to the man’s bait bucket. After locating the fish, Lieutenant Laskowski photographed them and walked the man down the path to release the fish. A second individual was observed wade fishing. An inspection of that individual revealed him to be in possession of four redfish. Both men were issued citations for possession of over the bag limit of redfish.

While on patrol at the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Pettifer and Lieutenant Laskowski conducted several fisheries inspections. Two of the inspections resulted in two separate individuals each being cited for possession of five undersized mangrove snapper.

While on patrol, Officer Pettifer initiated a resource inspection on two individuals fishing from a rock jetty. The subjects advised they had only caught a puffer fish. Officer Pettifer identified a stringer tied to the rocks. One of the men admitted that he caught a grouper and put it on the stringer. An inspection of the stringer revealed one 19-inch gag grouper tied to it. The individual was cited for possession of an undersized gag grouper.

While on patrol at the North Skyway fishing area, Officer Pettifer conducted a resource inspection on two individuals fishing. Through the course of the inspection, Officer Pettifer discovered five undersized mangrove snapper, one undersized gag grouper, and two undersized sheepshead. The individuals were issued resource citations and warnings for the various violations.

While on patrol, Officer Enos received a complaint of a subject cast netting and keeping undersized snook. Officer Enos arrived in the area, observed the subject, and performed a fisheries inspection when the subject returned to shore. The inspection revealed an approximately 21-inch snook. The subject was cited for possession of undersized snook and issued warnings for not having a fishing license, harvesting snook without a snook permit, and harvesting snook by illegal method.

Officers Bibler and Martinez were on water patrol in South Pinellas County when they saw multiple PWCs violating a manatee zone and a swim zone. As the officers approached, one person on a PWC immediately motored over to the beach near a large group of people. The subject appeared to be very young and pretended to act as if he was not just on the PWC. An interview of one of the PWC operators revealed that the young subject was 10 years old and that his father allowed him to operate the PWC. The father was issued a misdemeanor citation for allowing his son to operate a PWC under the age of 14.

Officer Bibler was on water patrol in South Pinellas County when he noticed a vessel trespassing at a local marina that was closed for the day. Officer Bibler conducted a vessel stop on the subjects who were actively fishing. A fisheries inspection revealed that the operator was in possession of an out of season and undersized gag grouper. The violator was cited appropriately for misdemeanor violations.

While on land patrol, Officer Martinez saw three subjects fish from a concealed location. Officer Martinez saw the men catching and keeping fish and approached them. One of the subjects saw him approaching, quickly reached into his pants and stuffed something into the car door pocket, locked the car, and walked away from Officer Martinez. Officer Martinez began a resource inspection with the subject and the other two males and found several undersized spotted sea trout. While looking through the vehicle to see if they had any more coolers or fish inside, Officer Martinez spotted a bag of marijuana. A search of the car revealed not only was there marijuana, but right where the first subject stuffed something into the door pocket were 16 individually packaged bags of cocaine. The first subject was arrested for possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and booked into the Pinellas County jail. Another subject was given a notice to appear for possession of undersized spotted sea trout.

Officers Ferguson and Phillippi were on park patrol at Honeymoon Island State Park when they contacted a subject to conduct a fishing license and resource inspection. The officers discovered the subject was in possession of two sharks not in whole condition, and the subject admitted to cutting up the sharks for bait. The subject was cited for possession of over the bag limit of shark and was given a warning for shark not in whole condition.

SOUTH REGION A
CASES
MARTIN COUNTY

While on patrol along the shoreline, Officer Morrow and Officer Pecko conducted saltwater fisheries inspections. Both officers located violations pertaining to pompano (over bag limit and undersized). The subjects were issued misdemeanor citations for their violations.

Officers Morrow, Rogers and Investigator Toby responded to a report of a subject catching and keeping wild northern cardinals. The officers located three caged northern cardinals. A small cage with a bowl of food and fishing line attached to the entry door was located. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the birds were released.

Officers Morrow and Pecko conducted saltwater fisheries inspections on a group of subjects participating in a local shark fishing tournament. A subject was found to have four bonnet-head sharks in his possession. Florida law permits a daily bag limit of one shark per person. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation and the illegal sharks were seized and returned to the water.

Officer Morrow responded to a citizen advising that a severely intoxicated person was walking down the roadway. Upon locating the subject, Officer Morrow determined the subject to be a danger to herself. When asked to provide her name, the subject walked away from the officer. When Officer Morrow attempted to detain the subject for her own safety, the subject became combative. The subject was taken to the Martin County Jail and charged with disorderly intoxication and resisting arrest without violence.

Officer Willems noticed a large pile of household items dumped off the side of the road. He set up a motion activated camera to catch the violator. A few days later, Officer Gouveia found more garbage dumped in the same location. He worked with the Martin County Sheriff’s Office to identify the subject found on the camera. Shortly after the identification was made, they saw him driving with a truck bed full of trash. They conducted a traffic stop and he was arrested for felony dumping.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Norbrothen and Webb were patrolling an area of the L-8 canal that is off limits to unauthorized motor vehicles. The officers spotted two individuals operating off road vehicles on the canal levee and approached. Both subjects fled in their vehicles from the canal to private property when they spotted the FWC officers. A search of the public roads nearby located the two individuals. The vehicles were stopped and the operators were issued citations.

Officers Merizio and Norbrothen responded to a report of a subject in a residential community placing food out at night to feed wildlife. According to the neighbors, the food attracted a large group of raccoons and the raccoons have become aggressive. When officers arrived on scene they saw a water container and bread scattered around the subject’s yard. Officers spoke to the subject and educated him on the negative impact of feeding wild animals. In Florida, intentionally placing food or garbage, allowing the placement of food or garbage, or offering food or garbage in such a manner that it attracts coyotes, foxes, or raccoons and in a manner, that is likely to create or creates a public nuisance is prohibited. The subject was issued a warning.

While on ATV patrol, Officer Hankinson conducted a resource inspection on a commercial vessel at the Phil Foster Boat Ramp. Upon inspection of the vessel, Officer Hankinson saw numerous saltwater fish intended to be sold for public consumption. The fish were stored in a cargo box, containing no ice or adequate refrigeration. The subject was criminally sited for improper storage of commercial seafood, while in the act of harvesting or transporting.

Officer Hankinson saw two subjects fishing in Storm Treatment Area-1 East during a posted closed time. Upon inspection, one subject had an outstanding warrant. Officer Hankinson arrested the subject with the warrant and issued both subjects a citation for not having valid freshwater fishing license.

FWC officers patrolled the coastal beaches in Palm Beach and Martin Counties to educate fishermen participating in an advertised land-based shark tournament. Officers utilized ATVs, vessels and vehicles and made a variety of contacts. Shark Smart brochures were given to recreational fishermen. They also provided education and assistance with releasing of sharks.

Officer Mann responded to a call of a capsized vessel at Phil Foster Park. Upon arrival, the officer determined that no one was still on the vessel. The owner was contacted and a marine salvage company was contracted by the owner to float the vessel.

Officer Langley and Officer Loach were on foot patrol conducting fisheries inspections at the Boynton Beach Boat Ramp when they smelled an odor of marijuana. They noticed a vehicle in the adjacent parking lot with the windows cracked. While approaching the vehicle the odor got stronger and the occupants of the vehicle rolled the windows up. The officers investigated further and discovered half a pound of marijuana in a backpack and several Xanax pills in the possession of the front seat passenger of the vehicle. The subject was arrested and booked into the Palm Beach County jail.

SEARCH AND RESCUES
MARTIN COUNTY

Officer Rogers and Officer Carroll responded to a vessel that capsized in the St. Lucie inlet. The 13-foot vessel capsized in 3-5 feet seas during an outgoing tide. Due to the officers’ quick response they were able to save the subject before he drifted through the inlet. Once the officers pulled the subject from the water and brought him on the patrol vessel, the officers navigated to safe waters and treated the subject for hypothermia.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Webb saw a male juvenile riding a bicycle at the MO canal and Stumpers Grade in Corbett WMA. He contacted the boy and asked where he was going. The boy said he was going camping in Dupuis, but he had no supplies, limited water and food, and just a small blanket. Officer Webb asked if his mother knew where he was and he hesitated and said yes. The mother was contacted and was in a panic when she realized where he was going. The boy was reunited with his mother a brief time later.

FWC received a report from a concerned individual that she had not heard from her friend in over 24 hours. She stated her friend had been camping in the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area and it was unusual to go so long without hearing from the friend. Officer Norbrothen responded by checking the camping areas in Corbett for either the individual or the vehicle. The officer found the individual cooking breakfast at a campsite. The individual was unharmed, in good health and good spirits. There was no cell phone service in the remote campsite for the individual to make a call so the officer had FWC dispatch relay the information to the reporting party.

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
HENDRY COUNTY

Lieutenant Steelman was on patrol at night in south Hendry when she received a call regarding an osprey in distress in Clewiston. She contacted Officer Brodbeck and both met the complainant where the osprey was located. The bird had become tangled in its own nest material on the top of a nest platform and was unable to fly. Clewiston PD arrived on scene and was able to contact Clewiston City Utilities who brought a bucket truck to the location. Officer Brodbeck got into the bucket with a city utility employee and raised the bucket to the nest where they discovered there was also a hatchling osprey. Officer Brodbeck carefully freed the adult osprey, which appeared to be in good health, and cleared the nest of the plastic material which had caused the entanglement. The osprey flew several circles around the nest and once everyone had cleared the scene, returned to the nest and its hatchling.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officer Mann assisted with the release of a manatee that was rehabilitated at the Miami Sea Aquarium. The manatee was released at Waterway Park in Palm Beach County. Officer Mann provided crowd control and answered questions from the public that had come to witness the release.

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
MARTIN COUNTY

Several officers concluded a month-long detail which targeted black crappie fishing. This resulted in highly visible proactive patrols with numerous fishermen being checked, most of them being in compliance. Officer Loach made a case which resulted in the seizure of 66 under sized black crappie. He also made 4 felony arrests, issued 11 misdemeanors and 2 infractions to the 2 individuals involved in that case. Officer Loach also issued 10 misdemeanors for undersized black crappie during other user checks.

PALM BEACH COUNTY

Officers Hankinson, Godward and Stone patrolled the shoreline with all-terrain vehicles from Jupiter Inlet to Lake Worth Inlet, to enforce state regulations during the shark tournament. Subjects were educated and violations were cited accordingly.

SOUTH REGION B
CASES

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

An officer stopped a vessel for a manatee zone violation. The officer discovered numerous boating safety and resource violations including no boater ID card, BUI, cannabis possession, drug paraphernalia possession, and undersized, closed season red grouper. The subject was also a repeat resource violator.

An officer stopped a vessel dockside at a boat ramp. While conducting a fisheries inspection he found in a red cooler containing following: 50 gray snapper, 4 undersized lane snapper, and 2 undersized mutton snapper. Three of the 50 gray snapper were undersized. Two persons on board verbally admitted to harvesting the snapper. The subjects were cited for the over daily legal bag limit of gray snapper and undersized lane snapper, mutton snapper, and gray snapper.

MONROE COUNTY

Officer Schroth saw a vessel approximately 4 miles offshore of North Sound Creek with divers in the water. Upon closer inspection, 3 divers in the water were actively spearfishing in a restricted area. Along with the violation of spearfishing in a restricted area, they had undersized, out of season hogfish, and undersized mutton snapper, fishing license violations, and boating safety violations. The stop resulted in (6) citations and (11) warnings.

Officers Mobley, Mason, Piekenbrock, and Wagner were on offshore patrol in the Dry Tortugas targeting violations in the Tortugas Ecological Reserves. Multiple vessel inspections occurred in the Dry Tortugas National Park and surrounding waters. One vessel inspection in Gulf state waters revealed five red grouper, three of which were undersized. One of the subjects claimed he harvested all the grouper and was cited for out of season and undersized grouper.

COLLIER COUNTY

Officer Yurewitch and Lieutenant Mahoney were conducting targeted enforcement of Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park over the crowded Easter holiday weekend when they stopped a PWC that was violating the manatee wake zone adjacent to the park. After being provided incomplete identifying information from the subject, they found he had an active felony arrest warrant and was attempting to conceal his identity. The subject was arrested for the warrant and issued citations for the marine violations.

Officer Plussa and Knutson were conducting speed enforcement in the busy Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park when they encountered several vehicles speeding nearly double the speed limit with heavy pedestrian traffic. Officer Plussa stopped the second vehicle and found the driver had no license in his possession, no registration, no insurance, did not know his address, and provided incomplete and inconsistent identifying information. An investigation revealed the subject’s driver’s license expired in 2009. Officer Plussa issued the subject a notice to appear for expired license, cited him for unlawful speed, and issued warnings for other violations. Another licensed driver took control of the vehicle.

Acting on a tip, investigators and officers from Collier County located a subject actively trapping and illegally keeping federally protected migratory song birds. The subject was discovered in possession of numerous species of migratory song birds, traps, and cages. In total the subject was issued 17 misdemeanor charges with additional federal charges pending.

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

FWC took part in the inaugural Miami Dade College Green Fair where approximately 100 contacts were made. Officers discussed nonnative species and captive wildlife rules/regulations with the public. There were several contacts from students interested in getting involved with FWC.

On March 30, 2018, there was a Facebook live event on personal watercraft safety. Officers Moschiano and Washington worked with PIC Parrish and discussed manatee zones, boating safety, liveries and seagrasses. Questions were answered from the public. According to Facebook, over 12,000 users viewed the video.

MONROE COUNTY

Officer Dube along with PIC Parrish assisted “NBC Nightly News” staff with a post hurricane segment for their national news on Conch Key. Officer Dube took the camera crew on a FWC Patrol vessel to film the post “Hurricane Irma” marine debris clean-up and followed the efforts of a local lobster fisherman in retrieving his lobster traps that were entangled with other traps. The day concluded with several interviews with FWC staff and our stakeholders.

Officer McKay and Investigator Mattson met with 15 members of the Monroe County Police Cadets/Explorers at Planation Key School in Islamorada. They discussed their job duties including patrol, investigations, and the various specialty units and assignments in the agency. The youth paid close attention what FWC looks for in potential candidates and how background checks are carried out. An American Alligator was brought and shown to the cadets and other students and staff at the school.

Officer McKay brought an alligator and a California king snake to John Pennekamp State Park where he and 2 park service specialists spoke to over 250 park guests on the roles of the Park Service and FWC. All guests were allowed to interact with the reptiles.

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