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Division of Law Enforcement
June 16, 2017 through June 22, 2017
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 Corbin and Pifer were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and resource inspections in the Destin Pass and Crab Island areas and saw a vessel in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone area. The operator was instructed three times to place his vessel in neutral. The operator kept shifting the boat’s throttle, but it remained in gear. During the boating safety inspection, the operator exhibited signs of impairment and was asked to perform field sobriety tasks which showed indicators of impairment. He was arrested for BUI transported to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Station where he refused to provide a breath sample. He was then transported to the Okaloosa County Jail where the intake process was completed.
Officers Pifer and Bartlett were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and resource inspections at the Destin Pass and saw a vessel in violation of the idle speed/no wake zone. When Officer Pifer was addressing the idle speed violation, the operator had a blank stare. During the safety inspection, the operator continued to show indicators of impairment such as slurred speech, watery/glassy eyes, and difficulty maintaining his balance. The operator also paused while trying to answer simple questions. The operated stated he had consumed 12 beers. He performed field sobriety tasks which showed indicators of impairment and was arrested for BUI. He was transported to the USCG Station where he provided a breath sample resulting in 0.151, 0.142 over the 0.08 legal limit. The operator was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail where the intake process was completed.
Officer Pifer was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. saw a PWC in violation of a county ordinance, stopped the PWC and determined the vessel was rented from a local livery company. During the safety inspection, Officer Pifer discovered the livery failed to provide the required safety equipment. Officer Pifer followed the rented PWC back to the livery location and issued a notice to appear citation to the livery for failure to provide required boating safety equipment.
Officer Pifer was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections near Crab Island when he received a request for assistance from the USCG regarding a Florida registered vessel. Officer Pifer arrived on the scene and initiated contact with the vessel owner. The registration decal had expired in 2009, and when the vessel owner provided the boat title to the officer, the date of sale was listed as October 2, 2015. The vessel owner was issued a notice to appear citation for failure to title the vessel in his name after purchase.
Officer P. Rockwell was dispatched to a complaint of three bears digging in a dumpster off Mary Esther Cutoff. The officer located two dumpsters behind two local food businesses. The fencing surrounding the dumpsters was heavily damaged and the bears were using the dumpsters as a food source. Officer Rockwell educated the owner and manager of their respective businesses about their responsibilities in securing their garbage. One of the business owners was issued a non-compliance letter. Both were provided a bear brochure.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Ramos was on vessel patrol in the Santa Rosa Sound and conducted a boating safety and resource inspection on a vessel he saw returning from offshore fishing. The officer discovered that the individuals had harvested regulated fish species that included six red snapper, three of which appeared to be under the legal 16‑inch size limit. Officer Ramos asked the boat operator how they measured their fish. The operator showed the officer a homemade ruler he constructed using tape. Officer Ramos showed the individual that his homemade tape ruler was an inch short compared to a certified metal ruler. The three, undersized snapper measured 15 inches each. The operator was cited accordingly.
Officer Ramos received information from a resident that an individual on a boat was harvesting oysters in a closed area in Blackwater Bay. After gathering details from the complainant, Officer Ramos saw the individual in an area closed for the harvesting of oysters. A boating safety and resource inspection was conducted and the individual admitted he was intentionally smashing oysters and their attached mollusks to attract fish that he could catch with fishing poles. The man received one boating safety warning and was charged for harvesting oysters in a prohibited area.
Officer Gore was patrolling an area of Choctawhatchee River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) at Boynton Cutoff Landing for illegal fishing activity when he encountered two subjects in a parked car with a Georgia tag. During a casual conversation, he felt the male subject may have been impaired on drugs due to his erratic actions and speech. He asked the subject if there were any illegal substances in the vehicle. The subject reached into the center console and produced a pill bottle that contained methamphetamine and marijuana. A search incident to arrest revealed additional marijuana. The subject was transported to the Washington County Jail and booked for possession of methamphetamine and possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis.