More Meatheads of the Week

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NORTHWEST REGION

 

CASES

 

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

 

Officer McHenry was working in Perdido River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) when he observed three individuals enter the area after hours. He approached the individuals in his patrol vehicle and turned his blue lights on. All three individuals fled the area on foot, but Officer McHenry caught up to one of the individuals. A notice to appear citation was issued for resisting arrest without violence, under age possession of alcohol and illegal entry into the WMA. The two other individuals were identified and warrants will be filed for their arrest.

 

OKALOOSA COUNTY

 

Officers Corbin and Pifer were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections in the Destin Pass area and were dispatched to a boating accident involving a 21-foot boat and a personal watercraft (PWC). The accident occurred in the Santa Rosa Sound near marker 31. The operator of the PWC was injured, sustaining a laceration under the armpit that required stitches. The operator transported himself to an emergency room in Destin. Officer Corbin interviewed both operators concerning the cause of the accident. It was determined the PWC operator lost control of the PWC he was operating, striking the 21-foot vessel. The PWC operator was cited for the violation of a navigational rule resulting in an accident (navigational rule 6-unsafe speed).

 

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

 

While on patrol, Officer Mullins observed two individuals fishing the Garcon Point area. He conducted a fisheries/license inspection and one subject was unable to produce a fishing license or identification. The subject provided several different names and dates of birth. Despite the false information, Officer Mullins and FWC Dispatch discovered the subject’s identity. It was revealed that the subject had an active warrant for probation violation. The subject was placed under arrest, booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail and issued citations for interference with an FWC officer and no fishing license.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

HOLMES COUNTY

Officers Greene and Yates attended a career day at Bethlehem High School where they spoke about the duties of an FWC officer and the role of FWC as an agency to approximately 75 students.

Officers received actionable intelligence in the fall of 2016, that night-time dumping of asphalt shingles and commercial roofing debris was occurring in a remote area of the Choctawhatchee River WMA. Lieutenant Walsingham, Investigator Brown, Officers Yates and Greene initiated an investigation, began intelligence collection efforts and set up electronic surveillance in an effort to identify the perpetrators. Officers and investigators determined that approximately twenty-three loads of roofing debris had been transported over a period of six months and dumped on the WMA by employees of an Alabama roofing company. The roofing debris contained tar, asphalt, rubber and other prohibited materials. It was illegally burned at night in the river swamp during a period of severe drought using no wildfire safety or suppression measures. After an image of the crew foreman was obtained by surveillance cameras, the foreman and two additional employees confessed to burning the material and transporting it across state lines using the company owner’s truck and hydraulic trailer. All three employees either admitted to being paid to dump or to participating in the operation. Cleanup costs are estimated at several thousand dollars.

 

The investigation was protracted and complex in nature and involved the establishment of remote surveillance, monitoring of social media, retrieval and review of detention facility calls, identification of multiple suspects, vehicles, and associates, completion of numerous interviews, interrogations, and records searches, and regular consultation with the local prosecutor. During the investigation, it was necessary to coordinate with multiple agencies and divisions to obtain a successful outcome. These included the FWC intelligence section, 14th Circuit State Attorney’s Office, U.S. EPA-CID, FHP, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Holmes County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County Sheriff’s Office, and the DEP Office of Emergency Management.

 

The FWC obtained warrants for the company’s owner and three employees on numerous felony and misdemeanor charges which included:

  • 58 felony counts relating to commercial dumping, criminal mischief exceeding $1,000, tampering with evidence, and habitual offender driving while license suspended or revoked;
  • 25 misdemeanor counts related to the burning of prohibited materials, damages to the WMA, and violation of DEP rules;
  • Grand theft charges were also filed on two of the defendants through the local Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the investigation.

 

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

 

Officers Lewis, Jernigan, Hutchinson and Clark coordinated with the Blackwater Pirates and the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Auxiliary to perform voluntary vessel safety inspections on multiple vessels at Carpenter’s Park and Russell Harbor boat ramps in Milton during the weekend.  Everyone involved educated the public on boating safety; distributed boating safety literature, and answered various questions from the public. The FWC reminds boaters to check their safety equipment before heading out onto the water during the first holiday of the boating season.

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Walsingham and Officers Gore, Basford, Hellett, Alsobrooks, Hayes, Bartlett, and Pifer teamed with Washington County Sheriff’s deputies to conduct a detail on Cypress Springs on Holmes Creek. The 165 users and 71 vessels inspected resulted in 13 uniform boating citations, 6 written warnings for boating safety violations, 1 BUI arrest, 1 notice to appear citation for possession of cannabis less than 20 grams and 3 uniform traffic citations.

 

 

NORTH CENTRAL REGION

 

CASES

 

CLAY COUNTY

 

Officer Starling received a report that a subject was taking freshwater gamefish with a cast net on Lake Geneva in Keystone Heights. Officer Starling arrived on the scene and found the subject in possession of a cast net and a bucket full of bream. After a brief interview, the subject admitted to taking the bream with the cast net. Officer Starling issued the subject a notice to appear for taking freshwater gamefish by illegal method.

 

TAYLOR COUNTY

 

Officers Albritton and Wilcox were on land patrol at Hickory Mound Impoundment when they observed a Ford truck parked at the locked entrance gate to the impoundment. The truck had a .22 caliber rifle lying behind the driver’s seat. Blood and suspected deer hair were found on the tailgate and truck bed. The officers drove into the impoundment and found the owner of the truck crabbing. During an interview, the subject admitted that he killed a doe deer the previous weekend with the .22 caliber rifle. The officers seized the rifle, deer hair and blood as evidence. The appropriate charges will be direct filed with the state attorney’s office.

 

 

NORTHEAST REGION

 

CASES

 

BREVARD COUNTY

 

Officer Cybula was conducting fisheries inspections at a local bridge while on patrol and observed a man fishing from the bridge with a bucket containing spotted seatrout. A resource inspection revealed ten undersized seatrout between 12-14 inches in length, well under the minimum legal size limit. The man was issued a citation for possession of undersized seatrout and a warning for over the bag limit of seatrout.

 

Environmental investigators and Brevard County patrol officers conducted a two-night targeted enforcement action focusing on three separate marinas for marine sanitation device (MSD) violations. The Melbourne area marinas had been the source of numerous complaints about the direct discharge of raw sewage into the Eau Gallie River. Over the course of the two-night detail, the officers issued 15 citations for MSD violations, made a warrant arrest and issued multiple warnings for other violations.

 

FLAGLER COUNTY

 

Officer Ramsey was checking fishermen at Moultrie Creek in St. Augustine when he found one individual in possession of five undersized gray snapper. The proper citation was issued. Later in the week, Officer Ramsey was conducting a resource inspection of a boater and found an undersized red drum. The fish was returned to the water and a citation was issued.

 

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Lightsey and Officer Marroquin were conducting boating safety inspections when Officer Marroquin encountered an operator who appeared to be impaired. After the safety inspection, the operator participated in standardized field sobriety tasks and was placed under arrest for operating a vessel while normal faculties were impaired. Once at the jail, the operator, who was under twenty-one years of age, provided a breath sample almost twice the legal limit. The operator received additional charges for possession of alcohol by a person under twenty-one years of age.

 

Lieutenant Lightsey and Officer Cybula were working an area where trespassing and poaching had been occurring. The officers observed a vehicle fitting the description that one of the known offenders had been seen with. Once the officers located the men, two of the three fled the area with their dogs. After positively identifying the men that fled, warrants were issued for their arrest for failure to allow inspection by an FWC officer and resisting arrest without violence.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

BREVARD COUNTY

 

Officers attended the Annual Police Officers Hall of Fame Memorial in Titusville. The event drew hundreds of people from around the nation for the memorial service honoring fallen law enforcement officers.

 

FLAGLER COUNTY

 

Officers Lawshe, Ramsey and Investigator Brechler participated in an annual event called “Feel the Wheels” in St. Augustine. This event draws over 4,000 children and adults for a day of being able to see what it’s like to be a law enforcement officer, forest ranger, firefighter, EMT, large equipment operator and many other careers. The children got to climb on, sit in, touch and make lights and sirens flash and wail on the emergency vehicles. Many questions were answered and a good time was had by all.

 

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

 

Lieutenants Dougan, Lightsey and Officer Cybula attended the wreath laying ceremony to honor fallen law enforcement officers at the Indian River county courthouse. Guest speaker retired Colonel McKnight was in attendance, as well as a joint agency flyover by Lieutenant Dougan and the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office.

 

 

SOUTHWEST REGION

 

CASES

 

HARDEE COUNTY

 

Officers Franks, Smith and Infante responded to assist Hardee County Sheriff’s Office with a traffic stop. During the traffic stop, they discovered the subject was in possession of a snook and 12 largemouth bass. The officers investigated the incident and found the subject possessed two bass over the two-day bag limit, three bass over the 16-inch size limit, and one snook out of season. Three resource citations were issued with a requirement to appear in court.

 

LEE COUNTY

 

Officers Thompson, Hazelwood, Bell and Lieutenant Ruggiero responded to an out-of-control vessel off the coast of Fort Myers Beach. When they arrived on the scene, there was a vessel making circles at full throttle with no occupants on board. The officers quickly located the passengers, who were fortunate enough to not get run over by the vessel as it made circles. A nearby vessel saw the passengers get thrown from the boat in rough seas, and quickly picked them up. The officers, along with Sheriff’s deputies and the USCG, tied some lines to their Type IV throwable devices, hoping to slow the boat down or stall out the motor by snagging the prop. After several attempts, the deputies threw several lines around the prop, and the boat slowed down enough to board while it made circles. The USCG maneuvered their soft-sided vessel close enough to have an officer jump on board and shut it down. Fortunately, no one was injured, but it was a great reminder of the importance of wearing a kill switch lanyard when operating a motor vessel. The incident could have been much worse than it turned out to be.

 

While on patrol at Pine Island, Officers Perry and Winton noticed several individuals fishing from a bridge. When the officers approached to conduct a fisheries inspection, a female from the group picked up a bucket and quickly walked to a nearby vehicle. Officer Winton approached the female and immediately recognized her from an undersized fish case the week before. Upon inspecting the bucket, the officers found undersized mangrove snapper and seatrout. Through their investigation, the officers determined which individual caught the fish and cited him for the violations.

 

POLK COUNTY

 

Officers Tyer and Earls were dispatched to Lake Garfield with a report of several vehicles stuck in the lake. When the officers arrived, they observed two vehicles stuck in the lake bottom. They also observed where the vehicles had destroyed the lake bottom. Both operators were issued notices to appear for the violations.

 

Officer Sweat was conducting fisheries enforcement in Saddle Creek Fish Management Area (FMA) when he observed two subjects that were in possession of a cast net. When asked for their permits for the area, neither subject could provide one. Both subjects were issued citations for failure to check in and the subject with the cast net was issued a notice to appear for possession of a cast net in Saddle Creek FMA.

 

Officer Carter was patrolling Saddle Creek FMA during closed times and observed a van in the area. He advised them that they were in the FMA during closed times. A check of both subjects in the van found the driver had a protection order from the other subject in the van. Officer Carter arrested the driver for violation of the protection order and transported him to the Polk County Jail.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

LEE COUNTY

 

Officers Bradshaw, Perry, Rogers, Hazelwood, Winton, and Hardgrove worked a multi-day operation focusing on unlawfully marked blue crab traps in the Caloosahatchee River. Over several days the officers could identify locations of suspicious traps and observed commercial fishermen using those traps. These observations and the resultant stops of those fishermen resulted in two arrests and more than 20 criminal charges. Officers will continue to work with commercial blue crab fishermen in the area to ensure continued compliance with trap marking and working regulations.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

LEE COUNTY

 

The FWC, represented by Public Information Officer Norris, along with other local law enforcement agencies, held a press conference for National Safe Boating Week. Officer Norris discussed local boating accident statistics and provided safe boating tips for four local television stations.

 

MANATEE COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Hinds performed an outreach event for a local Girl Scout troop. He covered boating safety with the scouts and even brought a boat for them to sit in while he gave his presentation. He also covered knot tying, showing the scouts a few useful knots for boating. The scouts were very energetic and happy when they received their knot-tying badge. Most important, the scouts learned some very useful information to keep them safe while on the water this summer.

 

 

SOUTH REGION A

 

CASES

 

BROWARD COUNTY

 

Officer Ryan was on patrol when he observed an individual fishing inside a fenced and posted “No Trespassing” area near the Fort Lauderdale Airport. He conducted a fisheries inspection on the individual and issued him a criminal notice to appear citation for possession of undersized black drum.

 

Officers Brock and Grant were dispatched to the Plantation area in response to a raccoon call. After interviewing an individual, the officers issued a criminal notice to appear citation for rehabilitating wildlife without a permit. Three baby raccoons were seized and taken to the South Florida Wildlife Care Center.

 

Lieutenant Laubenberger and Officers Brock, Grant, Vacin and Matthews were on vessel patrol near the 15 Street Boat Ramp in Fort Lauderdale. They were conducting fisheries inspections on various vessels and individuals fishing at the boat ramp. Two individuals were fishing and had fish in their possession. After checking the fish and status of the two fishermen, one individual was given a criminal notice to appear citation for interference with an FWC officer and the other individual was placed under arrest for an active warrant out of Broward County. He was transported to jail by Officers Brock and Grant.

 

Officers Vacin, Ryan and Holcomb were on vessel patrol offshore from Birch State Park. They conducted a marine fisheries inspection of an individual that was spearfishing. With information gathered, the individual was issued a criminal notice to appear for possession of undersized red grouper and possession of undersized yellowtail snapper.

 

Officers Brock and Grant were on patrol in the Hillsboro Inlet area and conducted a marine fisheries inspection on two individuals that were spearfishing. The individuals were each in possession of a speared parrot fish and were issued criminal notices to appear for harvesting parrot fish by illegal method. The dead parrot fish and spear guns were seized as evidence. Due to other actions taken by the individuals, they were also charged with interference with an FWC Officer.

 

Lieutenant Laubenberger and Officers Banks, Vacin, Matthews, Brock, Grant, Ryan and Holcomb responded to a serious boating accident near the Oakland Park Boulevard Bridge. Investigator Teems and Investigative Lieutenant Carcasses also responded to the scene. Two vessels were involved in a serious boating accident. The boating accident remains under investigation.

 

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

 

Officer Allen was conducting surveillance at the E-Lock Structure on the Kissimmee River because of several complaints of trespassing on the lock and structures. Two subjects arrived in a boat and walked onto the structure and began catching sunshine bass. The subjects were issued notices to appear in court citations for trespassing on a South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) water control structure.

 

Officers Toby and Dial saw two individuals fishing with a cast net and operating a small vessel on Lake Okeechobee at Nubbin Slough around midnight. They observed that the vessel had no navigation lights when operating. At one point, the two individuals docked the vessel up to the shore and walked to their truck on the bank. The individuals lit a substance with a flame while inside the vehicle, then exited the vehicle and headed back to the area of the vessel. Officers Toby and Dial approached them and one of the individuals was in possession of a glass pipe with methamphetamine inside. This glass pipe was located on top of the rear tire next to where the individual was standing when the stop was initiated. The individual admitted ownership and stated that it contained meth. A subsequent field drug test confirmed this statement. Upon inspection of the vessel, all fish were of legal size and species; however, the vessel was shown to have numerous safety violations. Lieutenant Brown and the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office K-9 team arrived on the scene to assist due to the presence of the methamphetamine. The individual in possession of the methamphetamine was arrested and booked into the Okeechobee County Jail for the felony charge of possession of methamphetamine and the misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia. In addition, the individual was issued four uniform boating citations for no lifejackets, no Type IV throwable, no navigation lights and operating an unregistered vessel.

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY

 

Officer Spradling was advised by dispatch that the Jupiter Police Department was with a subject who had an oversized snook in his possession at the Jupiter Inlet. The subject had one 37-inch snook and one 24-inch snook inside his cooler. The legal size for snook is a minimum of 28 inches and a maximum of 32 inches. The subject advised that the 37-inch snook was given to him to take a picture with, but then died before he could return it to the water. He advised he kept the 37-inch snook due to it being dead. The subject also advised he saw the 24-inch snook floating dead in the water at the inlet so he jumped in the water, grabbed the snook and put it in his cooler. Officer Spradling advised him that it’s illegal to possess undersized/oversized snook. The subject wascited accordingly.

 

Officer Toby saw five individuals inside the SFWMD’s A1-FEB property, which was closed to public access. Each of the subjects was walking with a fishing pole in hand. All five individuals were escorted out of the property and the violations were addressed. The four adults in the group were issued one misdemeanor citation each for trespassing in a restricted property. Additionally, one of the individuals was issued a written warning for litter under 15 pounds as he illegally discarded a bottle during the stop. Officer Toby had the individual retrieve the bottle and discard it properly.

 

Officers Ryan and Holcomb were on patrol in western Palm Beach County and approached the driver of a car who was then placed under arrest for possession of narcotics and issued a citation for an open container of an alcoholic beverage.

 

Officer Cobo and Lieutenant Russo were conducting vessel inspections at Burt Reynolds Boat Ramp in Jupiter and observed a commercial kingfish vessel unloading his catch. The fish inside the fish box located on the vessel had very little ice on the fish as required by law. The fish were in acceptable condition so the fisherman was only written a warning and allowed to keep his catch.

 

Officer Toby approached an individual fishing on Lake Okeechobee at the Pahokee Marina to conduct a fisheries inspection. As he approached, the individual began kicking fish that were at his feet into the water from the pier. Officer Toby gave loud verbal commands to stop, but the individual continued kicking the fish into the water below. Multiple fish were located in the water below the individual, some of which were still alive and trying to swim away. The individual was also in possession of a marijuana cigarette. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation pertaining to obstructing an FWC inspection and a warning for possession of marijuana under 20 grams.

 

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

 

Investigator Turner, Lieutenant Rogerson and Officers Fretwell and Crosby responded to a report of a vessel accident that occurred in the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. It was reported that an airboat with two occupants had crashed into a mangrove island, ejecting the operator. One of the parties was airlifted and the other was transported by ambulance to a local hospital to receive treatment for injuries. Investigator Turner is conducting the ongoing vessel crash investigation.

 

RESCUES

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY

 

Officers Spradling, Webb and Lieutenant Harris responded to a vehicle fire in the Hungryland Wildlife Environmental Area (WEA). Officer Webb found three individuals with the vehicle and helped transport them away from the dangerous fire. The fire had spread to the brush near the vehicle causing a wildfire. Officer Spradling assisted Martin County Fire Rescue by leading them through gates into the Hungryland WEA to get to the fire.

 

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE

 

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

 

Officer Crosby responded to the Winn Dixie store in Okeechobee in response to the report that a two-foot alligator was loose in the rear of the store. Officer Crosby captured the alligator in the back storage area of the store and released it back into Lake Okeechobee.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

 

Officer Allen and the Okeechobee Fisheries Office manager participated in a drug awareness event (DARE) for the 5th graders of Okeechobee County at the Agri-Civic Center. They spoke about the harmful effects of alcohol and drugs on boating safety. The use of several different types of PFDs were demonstrated and the students were informed about the reasons why they should wear them. A total of 535 students were in attendance.

 

 

SOUTH REGION B

 

CASES

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

While on JEA patrol on the OPV RT Randall near the southern end of the Quicksands in the Atlantic Ocean, Officers Johnson, Thurkettle and Bell conducted a resource inspection on a commercial fishing vessel. Upon inspection, the officers discovered 3 undersized yellowtail snapper and 1 undersized black grouper. The fisherman stated, “I was being greedy and didn’t think I would be getting checked.” The fisherman was citied accordingly.

 

While patrolling Doctor’s Pass in Naples, Officer Araujo observed several subjects fishing from the beach. Officer Araujo continued to watch the subjects and observed a male subject place fish in a white bucket. When the subject packed up and started to leave the beach, Officer Araujo approached the subject and asked to inspect his catch. He asked the subject what he had caught, and the subject replied “a snapper and a jack.” When Officer Araujo inspected the contents of the bucket, he discovered 1 mangrove snapper, 1 Spanish mackerel, 1 jack crevalle and 4 pompano. All 4 pompano were undersized and were seized as evidence. The subject was cited accordingly.

 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

 

Officers working a boating safety detail during the weekend arrested five subjects for BUI. Two of them were also charged with careless operation of a vessel and possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).

 

Officers responded to reports of a vessel explosion in southern Miami-Dade County. The explosion sent several people to the hospital, one of them severely injured. Investigators assessed and secured the scene, conducted witness interviews and inspected the vessel. The investigation is still ongoing.

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

Officer Mattson was on water patrol near Islamorada when he observed a large commercial charter head-boat coming in from a morning trip. He checked the records of the vessel license and found that it was expired. He boarded the boat and inspected the catch along with the paperwork. The captain received, for a second time, a citation with a fine of $850.

 

Officers Wilkins and Janzen were patrolling the area of Tea Table Relief in the Upper Keys when they came across a group of people fishing near the bridge. As he approached, one of the individuals reached inside a cooler near him, grabbed a lobster and threw it into the mangroves. Officer Wilkins told the man to stop what he was doing, and the man grabbed another lobster from the same cooler and threw it towards the water near a small patch of mangroves. After securing the scene, Officers Wilkins and Janzen recovered both lobster that were thrown. Officer Wilkins then placed the individual under arrest and booked him into the Plantation Key Jail for charges of undersized and out-of-season lobster and interference with an FWC officer.

 

RESCUES

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

Officer Messier responded to a boating accident in Calda Channel near Key West involving a catamaran pleasure vessel with five people on board. One of the passengers was reportedly riding on the bow of the vessel when the vessel hit some choppy waves causing him to fall overboard into the water. The passenger fell head first into the water and was struck by the vessel’s propellers, sustaining injuries/lacerations to both legs. The USCG was notified and dispatched to the scene. The victim was transferred to the USCG vessel and transported to Lower Key Medical Center for treatment. The FWC is still investigating the accident.

 

Officers Rafter, Pino and McKay responded by water to a sailboat in Key Largo where a male was reported to be suffering from a stroke. The victim was located as he was about to try making it to shore in a small skiff. The officers brought the man to shore to a waiting Fire Rescue unit. The officers secured his skiff to his anchored sailboat. He was taken to a local hospital for advanced care.

 

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

Officers Mobley and Garrison were dispatched to a baby key deer that was rescued from a canal on Big Pine Key. The officers searched the area to find the baby key deer’s mom, but were unsuccessful. The key deer was released in the same area with the hope that the mother will come looking for it. The coordinates were turned over to the USFWS.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

Officers Richards and Foell were on federal water patrol on board the OPV Interceptor inside East Hump Marine Protected Area (MPA). The officers located two vessels actively bottom fishing with electric reels inside of the protected area. Inspections revealed both vessels possessed queen snapper and blue line tilefish, which are prohibited to harvest and possess inside of the MPA. The vessel operators were issued federal citations.

 

Officers Way, Messier and Lieutenant Peters conducted a 17-hour, offshore patrol of the Dry Tortugas. The patrol focused on the enforcement of state and federal fisheries, and the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS). The officers conducted several vessel inspections of recreational and commercial vessels. They conducted an inspection of a commercial fishing vessel actively fishing at the “K” Buoy off Fort Jefferson National Park in the Dry Tortugas. The “K” Buoy is located inside gulf state waters of Monroe County. The officers discovered several red grouper, 2 of which were undersized, hidden amongst their catch of 600 pounds of lane snapper. A federal fisheries inspection revealed the vessel’s V.M.S. was on and transmitting. The vessel also declared its commercial fishing trip with the VMS system. The federal fisheries inspection also revealed that the vessel did not have IFQ shares required to possess the red grouper. The captain of the vessel stated the red grouper were not for sale, but for his recreational consumption. He was educated on the boundaries of the FKNMS North and South Ecological Reserve. An inspection of the vessel’s marine sanitation device confirmed it in compliance with state and FKNMS Regulations. The captain of the vessel was issued one notice to appear for possession of red grouper during the closed season, possession of undersized red grouper, and possession of over the bag limit of grouper.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

Officer Dube was invited to speak at the United Sates Coast Guard Auxiliary’s 13-8 Flotilla’s Quarterly meeting at Station Islamorada. Officer Dube spoke to approximately 35 auxiliary members and civilians about FWC current events, recent law updates and regulation changes. He also spoke about the FWC Boating Safety Decal program along with the upcoming Boating Safety Week campaign. The presentation concluded with a question-and-answer session.

 

Officer Dube attended the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) Awards Banquet at Schnebly’s Winery in Homestead. He was selected as their South Florida Officer of the Year and presented an award, a beautifully framed piece of artwork, by Captain Rick Murphy of the ”Chevy Outdoors Fishing Report” TV show. The banquet concluded with both a silent and live auction to raise money for the CCA and its conservation efforts.

 

Officer Dube and Carol Lyn Parrish, the South Region’s Public Information Coordinator, participated in a National Safe Boating Week event at the Bass Pro Shops in Miami’s Dolphin Mall. The event was attended by several police and fire departments along with representatives from the USCG. There were activities for children of all ages.

 

Honor Guard Lieutenant Dipre participated in the Monroe County Law Enforcement Memorial service at Bayview Park in Key West. Keynote speakers included Sheriff Rick Ramsay and several government dignitaries. Attendees included FWC Officers Hettel and Martino, members of the public, numerous veterans and local military personnel.