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Division of Law Enforcement
July 8 through July 14, 2016
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.
Patrol, Protect, Preserve
Officers Basford and Wicker were patrolling St. Andrews Bay and stopped a vessel to conduct a resource inspection. When the officers asked the boat captain if they had caught any fish, he replied, “No.” There were five other people on the vessel and one of the other five subjects held up his fingers indicating that they had caught two fish. Upon inspection of the vessel’s fish box, the officers found two short king mackerels. The officers’ investigation revealed that this was actually a chartered fishing trip and the other five subjects were paying customers. The vessel captain did not have a charter license and was issued a citation for no charter fishing license and a notice to appear for possession of undersized king mackerel.
The Calhoun County Sheriff’s Department requested assistance from Officer Baber in apprehending a suspect who had exposed himself to swimmers along the Chipola River. When deputies arrived, the suspect jumped into the river and swam away. Officer Baber arrived with his patrol vessel, located the suspect and took him into custody. The suspect was charged with indecent exposure and resisting arrest without violence.
Officers Manning and Allgood arrested a subject on a warrant for failure to appear in court on a recent fisheries case. Earlier this summer, Officer Allgood arrested the subject for interfering with an FWC officer. The individual threw red snapper out of the boat when Officer Allgood attempted to check his catch. This was the second time the individual was charged with the same violation this year.
Lieutenant Hahr was working enhanced patrol in the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) when he observed a truck drive off of the road and enter a muddy area. The driver intentionally spun the vehicle’s tires and created deep ruts in the mud. The driver was charged with damaging state lands with a motor vehicle.
Officers Guy and Baber assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department in apprehending three suspects who were robbing tubers at gunpoint along the Chipola River and Spring Creek. The suspects were in a vessel and robbed five different victims. The three suspects were charged with aggravated assault, grand theft and numerous other charges.
Lieutenant Allen and Officers Burkhead and Forehand assisted the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department with a detail along Spring Creek targeting drug and alcohol violations. Numerous citations and arrests were made related to drug and alcohol violations.
Officers Bartlett and Molnar conducted a vessel stop after observing an occupant throw a beer can into the water. When they made contact, the operator showed signs of impairment and admitted to consuming alcohol throughout the day. After field sobriety tasks were completed, Officer Bartlett arrested the subject for BUI. The subject was transported to the U. S. Coast Guard Station (USCG) where he refused to provide a breath sample. The subject was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail and charged with BUI and refusal to submit.
Officer Jarvis conducted a fisheries inspection at Rocky Bayou State Park Boat Ramp. After the inspection, a total of 23 king mackerel fillets were located in the subject’s vessel. The captain was issued a criminal citation for failure to land king mackerel in whole condition.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Lewis was on patrol in the Blackwater River WMA at a primitive campsite when he observed 11 juveniles on a sandbar. He approached the group and could smell cannabis amongst the group. He observed that one of the subjects in the group appeared to have recently smoked cannabis. The subject admitted to smoking cannabis and removed a glass smoking pipe containing cannabis residue and a clear plastic baggy containing cannabis. Officer Lewis cited the juvenile with possession of cannabis not more than 20 grams and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Officers Bartlett, Basford and Molnar responded to a single vessel boating accident with injuries on the Choctawhatchee River near Live Oak Landing. Upon arrival, Officer Bartlett located the vessel upside down in the bushes and out of the water. The operator had a broken finger and bruising to her face. The only other passenger was uninjured. It was determined the vessel struck the river bank at a high rate of speed and rolled upside down. Throughout the vessel accident investigation, the operator was displaying signs of impairment. Officer Molnar conducted a BUI investigation. Once field sobriety tasks were completed, Officer Molnar arrested the subject for BUI. The subject was transported to the Walton County Jail where she provided a breath sample of .102 and .106 Breath Alcohol Content (BrAC).
DIRECTED CONSERVATION PARTROLS
Officers Manning and Allgood patrolled federal waters this week. Together they documented 21 federal violations. Some of the cases included possession of red snapper and triggerfish during closed season, failure to land king mackerel in whole condition, and possession of undersized and over-the-bag limit of vermillion snapper.
Lieutenant Castaneda and Officers M. Webb and H. Webb patrolled federal waters this week. They checked 45 vessels and 130 users. Six resource citations and four warnings were issued for illegal possession of red snapper, greater amberjack and gray triggerfish.
Lieutenant Hollinhead, Officers Brooks, Tison, White, H. Rockwell, and Reserve Officer Hahr worked a boat ramp detail at Joe’s Bayou, Liza Jackson Park, and Hog Town Bayou. The emphasis of the detail was on enforcement of marine fishery rules and regulations and boating safety. The officers inspected 103 vessels for compliance and contacted 318 users. Numerous violations were documented for vessel registration, fish size limits, and boating safety equipment.
Community Oriented Policing
Officer Baber spoke to a group of students at Kid’s Kingdom in Blountstown. He displayed an alligator during the presentation. Approximately 50 students and faculty were in attendance.
Officer Manning attended the American Water Company Safety Day. He set up a booth and discussed boating safety with 55 employees.
Officer Burkhead attended a public outreach event at Wal-Mart in Marianna with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and Jackson County Fire Department. Officer Burkhead provided literature and answered questions from the public.