FWC DIVISION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT
September 28 - October 4, 2012
This report represents some events the FWC handled over the past week; however,
it does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
Lt. Brian Lambert and Officer Kenneth Manning were working night hunting and deer depredation activity in the north end of Escambia County. Lieutenant Lambert was on the edge of a cotton field bordering a separate piece of property that had been clear-cut and no crops were present. Lieutenant Lambert heard a vehicle pass his location and two shots fired from the direction of the clear cut. After hearing voices and seeing flashlight beams approximately 150 yards away, Lieutenant Lambert contacted Officer Manning, who drove by the location and observed three individuals cleaning a deer. Lieutenant Lambert stopped the individuals as they approached him. The individuals were in possession of a freshly cleaned doe deer. When questioned, they explained they shot the deer in the cotton field, for which they had depredation permits. Lieutenant Lambert informed the three individuals he was in the cotton field when they shot the deer. All three subjects then admitted they shot the deer in the clear cut, which was not covered under the permit. Lieutenant Lambert and Officer Manning examined the deer and found it was shot in the neck. They also found the spot where the deer was shot. All three subjects were charged with taking a deer at night with a gun and light. The guns and the deer meat were seized. The deer meat was later donated to an approved charitable organization.
While working enhanced patrol on the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Lt. Dan Hahr observed several large garbage bags dumped at River Annex Road. Upon inspection, the bags were found to be full of old dirty clothing and household trash. Lieutenant Hahr located a name in the trash and was able to track down the man responsible for the dumping. A complaint affidavit will be filed charging the man with one count of littering over 15 pounds.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Howard Jones received a call from Dispatch informing him that a boat had struck the I-10 Bridge that spans Blackwater Bay. There reportedly were injuries and Fire Rescue was responding. Officer Jones responded to the Shell Pile Boat Ramp in Bagdad where fire rescue personnel had transported the injured persons. The preliminary investigation indicates there were three persons onboard the outboard‑powered runabout boat when it struck the bridge and fender system. All three vessel occupants suffered impact injuries. One was treated at the boat ramp and refused further treatment. Two others were transported to Sacred Heart Emergency Room where one was treated and released, and the other one was admitted to the hospital. The investigation is ongoing.
Officer Pete Rockwell was on fisheries patrol near Destin when he observed a small charter boat returning from a fishing trip. Officer Rockwell discovered the captain had 115 illegal fish fillets onboard, totaling over 100 pounds. Officer Rockwell cited the charter boat captain with three misdemeanors and three warnings for the violations. The fish were donated to a local wildlife refuge to feed injured and recovering birds.
Officers Dennis Palmer and Nick Price concluded an investigation into the unlawful killing of a large alligator. The incident and investigation began last June in the Cedar Creek area. Suspects were developed and interviews conducted which resulted in the arrests of three subjects for a total of seven felony charges and three misdemeanor charges. The charges included unlawful taking of an alligator, armed trespass, felon in possession of a firearm, and principle in the first degree to the unlawful taking.
From Sept. 9 through 24, an operational detail was conducted on the waters of Apalachicola and Ochlockonee Bays. Due to recent stock assessments of oysters in Apalachicola Bay revealing a reduced number of shellfish, prices for oysters had increased greatly. Officers received information from the field that commercial oyster harvesters were harvesting at night within the closed waters of Apalachicola Bay.
Officers John Allen, Matt Gore, Wil Raker, Percy Cook, Blake Hoelscher, Jason Carroll, Steven Cook, Pilot David Calianno, and Lt. Charlie Wood participated in the detail. Vessel patrols were conducted for ten nights throughout the duration of the detail. Seven vessels and nine harvesters were inspected. Seven misdemeanor citations were issued for night harvest of oysters. Nine misdemeanor citations were issued for harvesting oysters from closed waters. Four written warnings were issued for insufficient vessel safety equipment. Along with the enforcement action taken by officers, approximately 25 bags of oysters were seized and returned alive to the water. The interception and seizure of these shellfish harvested from closed waters prevented their introduction into the commercial shellfish market, potentially lessening the chance of illness from ingestion by consumers.
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