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Division of Law Enforcement
July 21, 2017 through July 27, 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
Officer Alsobrooks was patrolling near the Hathaway Bridge and saw two subjects in a vessel fishing under the bridge. He conducted a resource inspection and found the subjects to be in possession of 18 undersized red snapper and two undersized lane snapper. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for harvesting undersized red snapper and issued written warnings for over the bag limit of red snapper and harvesting undersized lane snapper.
Officers Land and McHenry were on patrol in Pensacola Bay when they saw a vessel anchor fishing near the Pensacola Pass. The officers saw one of the subjects reel in an undersized red snapper. One of the men on board stated, “That’s a good one.” Officer Land boarded the vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection and located 13 undersized red snapper. Two of the fishermen on board claimed possession of the fish. It is illegal to possess red snapper measuring fewer than 16 inches. It is also illegal to possess more than two red snapper per person. The appropriate action was taken for the violations.
Officer Pettey responded to a report of an individual that had a dead deer on his front porch. After interviewing one of the residents about the deer, the resident first claimed someone put it there to set him up, but then admitted to killing it the evening before. He stated he was driving around when he decided to shoot a deer. He shot the deer, brought it home and was still deciding what to do with it more than . The gun and deer were seized and the individual was issued a notice to appear citation for killing a deer during closed season.
Officers Nichols and Wilkenson responded to a boating accident with injuries involving a PWC and a swimmer. The accident occurred in the Gulf of Mexico, and the investigation determined a rented PWC struck a swimmer, causing a laceration to the head. The swimmer was later transported to a local emergency facility in Destin and his injury was treated with stitches. The accident is under investigation.
Officer Maltais responded to the Destin Pass where a boating accident occurred involving two rental PWC. One of the operators sustained a laceration to her left knee and was transported and treated at a local hospital in Fort Walton Beach. The investigation determined that the two PWC were traveling south toward the Destin Pass when the lead PWC slowed and turned east into the path of the second PWC. A citation for navigational violation was issued to the operator that turned into the path of the other PWC.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Land was on patrol in Eglin Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and saw multiple vehicle tracks entering a closed area of the WMA. Officer Land tracked the tire sign to a clay pit within the WMA and located two vehicles. Each vehicle had multiple occupants and only one individual possessed a valid Eglin permit. Officer Land informed Eglin Range Patrol of the violation and asked for their assistance. The appropriate action was taken and individuals were banned for two years by the Eglin Range Patrol.
Officers Hutchinson and Mullins responded to a shot they heard on the Blackwater River. They found two men on a dock in the area. After questioning the men, they determined that the shooter was just shooting into the water. While talking to him, they determined that he had multiple felony warrants. Officer Mullins placed him under arrest and transported him to the Santa Rosa County Jail.
Officer Roberson was conducting fisheries inspections when he found a subject to be in possession of undersized and over the bag limit of redfish. The subject was issued the appropriate citations.
DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
Officers made several fisheries-related cases this week while conducting water patrol. These included three cases of possession of undersized red snapper and one case of failure to land red snapper in whole condition.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
The Gulfarium scheduled a sea turtle release at Henderson Beach State Park. Twelve green sea turtles were rehabilitated at Gulfarium and released in the Gulf of Mexico. Approximately 250 individuals attended the event. Officer Nichols provided security and traffic control and answered questions from the public.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Jernigan assisted with a Hunter’s Safety Course at the Jay Community Center. Officer Jernigan spent a little over an hour going over the hunting laws and regulations of the state. The class was small with only 15 present, but all were very attentive and asked questions concerning hunting regulations in Florida.