Tuesday, July 25, 2017

FWC Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report July 14, 2017 through July 20, 2017

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
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FWC
Division of Law Enforcement

FWC logo and law enforcement badge

Weekly Report
July 14, 2017 through July 20, 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

NORTHWEST REGION

CASES

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

Officer Land was conducting a fishery inspection of a commercial fishing vessel in Pensacola. The vessel had multiple ice boxes filled with fish. Officer Land located two greater amberjack among the catch on the vessel. It is currently illegal to possess greater amberjack and the commercial size limit for greater amberjack is 36 inches. Both fish were undersized and were seized. The captain of the vessel was given a notice to appear for the violation.

OKALOOSA COUNTY

Officers Pifer and Bartlett assisted special agents from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT) with a detail at Crab Island targeting illegal alcohol sales from food vendors anchored on the island. A total of eight vendors were contacted by the officers, special agents and ABT investigative aid working in a plain-clothes capacity. Of the eight vendors contacted, an employee from two separate vendors served alcoholic beverages to the investigative aid despite checking the aid’s driver’s license. Citations were issued to the two individuals for serving alcohol to a person under 21 years of age.

Officer Pifer was on routine land patrol and saw three individuals actively fishing from shore. While watching the individuals from his vehicle, one lit the end of a device commonly used to smoke cannabis, then passed it to another individual. Officer Pifer approached the individuals and could smell the odor of burnt cannabis. After noticing Officer Pifer’s presence, one of the individuals made obvious movements to conceal the smoking device. Officer Pifer asked the individual where the pipe was and he stated he threw it in the water. The smoking device was retrieved and the individual initially stated he had nothing illegal in his car, but later told Officer Pifer there was cannabis inside the driver’s door. After securing the cannabis, Officers Corbin and Pifer searched the car and located 15 Hydrocodone pills in a cigarette pack in the center console. The individual was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of cannabis less than 20 grams, and drug paraphernalia. The individual who had the smoking device passed to him was discovered to have an active warrant out of Okaloosa County and was placed under arrest. That individual was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

Officer Corbin was conducting resource inspections when he saw two subjects actively fishing from shore. Officer Corbin asked if they had caught any fish today and they stated “no.” Neither of the subjects possessed a valid fishing license and when asked for their identification, only one subject could produce any. Officer Corbin conducted a record check through FWC dispatch revealing that one of the subjects had an active warrant for violation of parole. He was placed under arrest and transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

Officer Corbin received information from a NOAA officer that a charter captain was in possession of undersized king mackerel. The NOAA officer saw the vessel’s catch displayed on the dock and the captain claimed only shark bait was left on the vessel. The NOAA officer conducted a resource inspection and saw the undersized king mackerel concealed under numerous other fish in a fish box. When asked if he caught the fish in federal or state waters, he answered “state waters.”  Officer Corbin met the captain and issued a citation for possession of undersized king mackerel.

Officer Corbin was dispatched to a single vessel accident in the ICW between Destin and Fort Walton Beach. Officer Corbin arrived on the scene with USCG Station Destin and Tow Boat US who had made several attempts to stop the vessel, which was still underway going in small circles. The operator of the vessel had made a sharp evasive maneuver to avoid an accident and was thrown from the vessel. The operator was picked up by a Good Samaritan and only suffered minor injuries.

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

Officer Roberson was patrolling the Pensacola Pass when he conducted a fisheries inspection on a vessel with two individuals who had two red snapper and a mahi-mahi. He asked who had caught the snapper, and one of the individuals responded that he did. Both snapper were undersized and the individual was issued a misdemeanor citation.



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