The Meatheads of the Week

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NORTHWEST REGION

 

CASES

 

OKALOOSA COUNTY

 

Officer Nichols and Bear Biologist Green responded to a homeowner who was leaving crushed bread pieces and birdseed in his backyard. Two black bears were using this as a food source. A few days earlier, Lieutenant Clark and Bear Biologist Green spoke to the homeowner at length about removing the food attractant. The homeowner admitted the bears ate the bread and birdseed. The neighborhood is experiencing daily encounters with the two bears. Officer Nichols’ inspection of the homeowner’s back yard revealed more bread and birdseed were placed on the ground. Further, the homeowner had a flatbed trailer in the driveway loaded with expired loaves of bread. The homeowner was issued a notification of non-compliance letter for the violation.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

 

Officer Pettey attended the annual meeting of the La Floresta Perdida hunt club, which manages more than 40,000 acres of land. Approximately 50 people were in attendance and Officer Pettey answered hunting related questions and discussed issues different club members had this past season.

 

OKALOOSA COUNTY

 

Officer Nichols provided police presence and public safety at Topsail Hill Preserve State Park for Earth Day. More than a dozen different environmental organizations and agencies participated. The park provided nature activities, games, animals, face painting and booths as well as food, music and fun. Approximately 1,000 people attended the event.

 

 

NORTH CENTRAL REGION

 

CASES

 

ALACHUA COUNTY

 

Officer Stanley received a call from dispatch about two individuals trespassing while turkey hunting on some private property. The complainant, who had permission to hunt on the property, confronted the trespassers and one of the trespassers battered him, leaving marks on his chest and arm. With the help of Lieutenant Ferguson, the suspects were tracked down and identified. After several weeks of interviews and written statements, a sworn complaint was filed with the state attorney’s office for armed trespass and simple battery. One of the subjects was also written an infraction for not having a valid turkey permit.

 

CLAY COUNTY

 

Officer Justus was on patrol in Keystone Heights when he observed a subject fishing from a kayak on Lake Geneva after dark. A fisheries inspection revealed that the subject possessed eight black bass, three over the daily bag limit. The subject did not have any vessel safety equipment, including navigational lights after dark. Officer Justus issued a citation for over the daily bag limit of black bass and warnings for the vessel safety equipment violations.

 

Officers participated in a BUI of drugs or alcohol targeted enforcement action detail on Black Creek and Doctor’s Lake. A total of 69 vessels and 207 users were checked. There was one BUI arrest and one misdemeanor marijuana arrest. There were also 24 warnings and citations issued. Violations included safety equipment and violation of area manatee zones.

 

DUVAL COUNTY

 

Officer Rorer was conducting afternoon Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) dockside patrols at the Mayport Boat Ramp in Jacksonville when he encountered a local fisherman in possession of four undersized red snapper. The fisherman stated that they caught the fish at a reef named MR, which is approximately 12 miles east/northeast of the St. Johns River Inlet. The red snapper season is closed for possession in federal waters and have a size limit of at least twenty inches to possess in state waters. The subject was cited accordingly.

 

LEVY COUNTY

 

Officer Schulz was on water patrol in Waccasassa Bay when he observed four subjects actively saltwater fishing from an airboat. During a resource and boating safety inspection, he noted that none of the subjects had their fishing licenses on them. While running the subjects through dispatch, he found out that two had their hunting and fishing privileges revoked, one had an active felony warrant, and the captain of the vessel had an expired saltwater fishing license. The subject with the warrant was arrested and the vessel with the other three subjects on board was escorted to the boat ramp. At the ramp, Officer Johnston and Lieutenant Umhoefer assisted with the investigation. As a result of the investigation, the other subject with revoked privileges was arrested for fishing while license was revoked. Officer Schulz issued the captain of the vessel a citation for fishing without a saltwater license and two written warnings for boating safety violations. The two arrested subjects were transported to the Levy County Jail without incident and booked for the warrants and fishing while license privileges were revoked.

 

Officer Schulz was on water patrol in the Cedar Key area when he saw a commercial oyster vessel in prohibited waters. As he watched from a distance, he could see two people on board actively harvesting oysters. Upon making contact, Officer Schulz saw numerous baskets of oysters in the water from the prohibited area. While speaking with the subjects, they claimed to be relocating the oysters. During a vessel inspection, the officer found the subjects did not have the required boating safety gear, nor a marine sanitation device (MSD) as required to commercially harvest oysters, and one of the subjects did not have a valid saltwater products license (SPL) to commercially harvest oysters. Officer Schulz directed them to return the oysters back to the water and return to the boat ramp where they had launched. Both men were arrested and booked into the Levy County Jail on misdemeanor charges for harvesting from prohibited waters with no MSD on board, and no SPL to commercially harvest oysters. Warnings were issued for the boating safety gear violations.

 

Officers Schulz and Willis were on water patrol in Cedar Key when they spotted a commercial oyster vessel loading baskets of oysters into a vehicle. The officers stopped and spoke with the individual to perform a commercial fisheries inspection. During the stop, they realized they had dealt with this man in the past few months and issued him misdemeanor citations for commercial oyster violations. The officers found he did not have tags on his oyster baskets showing which area the oysters came from. The subject was in possession of 19% undersized oysters (well over the 5% undersized tolerance), had no SPL in his possession (as warned in the past), and had no proper MSD on board. The officers also noted that throughout the stop, the subject was stumbling and collided with another parked vessel while trying to dock his vessel, as well as other clues indicating the subject was impaired. Officer Willis performed standardized field sobriety tasks on him and determined that he was impaired. The subject was placed under arrest for the criminal violations. Because of a search incident to arrest, the officers also found marijuana (under 20 grams) in the subject’s pocket. The subject was booked on the misdemeanor charges at the Levy County Jail. The untagged oysters were seized and returned to the water alive.

 

Officer Schulz received information that a man had illegally caught a snook with a cast net off the Cedar Key Pier. On arrival, the officer located a blue bin with a black plastic bag inside near the subject matching the description provided. The man admitted to cast netting the snook and putting it in the blue bin. The snook was over the maximum legal size fillet and the man did not have a valid snook permit. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for not landing the snook in whole condition and was issued warnings for illegal method, oversized snook, and no snook permit. The snook was seized as evidence.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

ALACHUA COUNTY

 

Officers are continuing to work area lakes for fish and boating safety violations.  With rainfall conditions at low levels, officers are patrolling local hunt clubs and warning members of the high fire danger. After talking to Division of Forestry staff, officers are informing the public of the dangers of operating ATV’s and parking them in grassy and dried-out areas.

 

RESCUES

 

LEVY COUNTY

 

Officer Schulz received a phone call about a man on a kayak in a secluded area having medical issues. The call was made by his friend who was kayaking with him. Officer Schulz launched from Fowlers Bluff Boat Ramp with Officer Johnston and Levy EMS. Once on the water, both officers and EMS located the kayaker and EMS provided medical treatment for shock. Both subjects and their kayaks were safely transported back to the boat ramp for further medical evaluation. The subject having the medical issues was released by EMS after receiving treatment.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

ALACHUA COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Ferguson attended a Citizen Support Organization for San Felasco State Park. With nearly fifty people attending, the event honored several members for their volunteer efforts. They also welcomed new members to the citizen support organization.

 

CLAY COUNTY

 

Officer Barber attended a Boy Scouts meeting at the First Presbyterian Church in Green Cove Springs. He talked with scouts and their parents about the role and responsibilities of an FWC officer. He also discussed issues with human and wildlife conflict as well as venomous snake identification.

 

 

NORTHEAST REGION 

 

CASES

 

BREVARD COUNTY

 

While patrolling Sebastian Inlet State Park, Officers Hadwin, Graves and Rasey conducted a resource inspection on a fisherman. When asked if he had any luck, the subject responded that he had a “massive 31-inch snook.” After measuring the snook, it was 33 1/8 inches long. The subject was issued a citation for harvesting an oversized snook. Later that night, officers observed a fisherman slide what appeared to be a black garbage bag under his back pack before heading to the parking lot. As the officer approached the subject for a resource inspection, the subject attempted to avoid the officers. The officers stopped the subject and inspected his catch. The fisherman had five ladyfish, one jack crevalle in a five-gallon bucket and a redfish that measured 36 inches in the black plastic garbage bag. The subject was issued a citation for harvesting an over the size limit red drum.

 

VOLUISA COUNTY

 

While conducting marine fisheries inspections in coastal Volusia County, Officer Thornton located a fisherman who was in possession of three fish. The fisherman stated the fish he had in his cooler were pompano, but upon further inspection, the fish were determined to be undersized permit. A citation was issued for the violation of possessing undersized permit and a warning issued for possession of over the bag limit of permit.

 

Officers North and Haskins were on patrol in a local county park when they encountered a man throwing a cast net in fresh water. A resource inspection found the man in possession of several bream. The man admitted to catching the bream in his cast net and had no other legal fishing apparatus in his possession. He was issued a citation for taking gamefish by unlawful method and a warning for no fishing license.

 

RESCUES

 

VOLUSIA COUNTY

 

FWC received a call from the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO) that a man had been hunting hogs on a piece of property in Edgewater and had become lost. FWC officers responded to the scene and, along with VCSO and K-9 bloodhound units from Tomoka Correctional Institute, began searching for the individual. The woods were very thick, making the search difficult. A thick canopy hampered efforts to locate the individual from the air as well. Searchers remained on the scene overnight, but efforts were unsuccessful. The next morning, approximately 20 FWC officers along with VCSO deputies, the Volusia County Fire search and rescue team and K-9 bloodhounds from Tomoka Correctional and Central Florida Reception Center arrived on the scene to resume the search. At approximately 3:00 PM that day, FWC officers Teal and Malicoat located some brush that looked as if someone had been laying down in it. FWC K-9 Officer North and K-9 Max, along with Officers Hastings, Teal and Malicoat were deployed to the area and a short time later, the subject was located. He was in good condition and able to walk out of the woods on his own.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

SEMINOLE COUNTY

 

A year-long task force coordinated between FWC, Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, Seminole County Watershed Management and Seminole County Solid Waste concluded with a large community clean-up of Bookertown in Sanford. Officer Weber and Lieutenant Chase were in the community helping along with approximately 50 volunteers. As part of the clean-up efforts, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection obtained funds for the removal of tires as a proactive response to Zika virus.

 

 

SOUTHWEST REGION

 

CASES

 

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

 

Officers Ahlers and Baker received a complaint about a subject keeping an oversized snook while fishing at Williams Park. The officers located the subject described in the complaint and found him to be in possession of one oversized snook. The subject was issued a notice to appear for the violation.

 

LEE COUNTY

 

Officer Price and Lieutenant Ruggiero were on water patrol when they stopped a commercial stone crab boat for a resource inspection. During the inspection, Lieutenant Ruggiero noticed a plastic box on the deck of the boat. After asking to look inside the box, one of the fishermen opened it, revealing a container of marijuana and paraphernalia. He was issued two misdemeanors for possession of marijuana under 20 grams and possession of paraphernalia.

 

Officer Price and Lieutenant Ruggiero stopped a commercial boat coming in from offshore and conducted a fisheries inspection revealing four undersized red grouper. The captain claimed the fish were all legal-sized and must have shrunk while on ice; however, three of the fish measured three-quarters of an inch under the legal size limit. A misdemeanor was issued to the captain for the violation.

 

Officer Price received information about a commercial business with employees that were feeding alligators on a regular basis. From a concealed location, he saw a man exit the back of the business and begin throwing food into a canal. Shortly thereafter, three alligators came up by the bank of the canal to eat the food, and the man went back inside. Officer Price approached the back of the business and asked the man to come back out. The man initially denied feeding the alligators, but after Officer Price told him what he saw, the man admitted to the violation and stated he had fed the alligators several times before. He was issued a citation for the violation and the alligators had to be trapped because of the potential threat to human safety. Feeding wildlife such as alligators, bears or raccoons is a violation of law and a safety issue for anyone else who may come near those animals.

 

Officer Bradshaw was called to Koreshan State Historic Site when park employees saw a vehicle driving down some of the walking paths in the park. Upon arrival, Officer Bradshaw located the vehicle abandoned with fresh crash damage to it. He searched for the vehicle’s occupants for about an hour, but was unable to locate them. When a tow truck arrived to remove the illegally parked vehicle, the occupants decided to come out from hiding. When they realized a law enforcement officer was still on the scene, they again tried to flee but were stopped. They were in possession of alcohol and marijuana. The vehicle was towed, and the two occupants were charged appropriately.

 

Lieutenant Barrett was patrolling the Punta Rassa Boat Ramp when he stopped two men on a boat for a dockside fisheries inspection. The two men claimed they had one 26-inch redfish in a live well. When Lieutenant Barrett measured the fish, the total length was almost 28 ½ inches, over the legal 27-inch size limit. The operator told Lieutenant Barrett that he had grown up fishing in the area and had never been found in violation of fisheries rules. However, a quick check of FWC records showed him to have been caught for a violation of spotted seatrout rules at the same boat ramp a few years previously. The operator was charged with possession of an oversized redfish. The redfish was released alive to the water.

 

MANATEE COUNTY

 

While Lieutenant Hinds was on land patrol at the South Skyway Rest Area, he noticed a man who had been spear fishing exiting the water. Upon completion of a resource inspection, he found that the man had shot a 34-inch snook. The subject was charged criminally for possession of oversized snook and snook taken by illegal method. The subject must appear in court for his violations. He was also warned for not having a diver down flag displayed.

 

PINELLAS COUNTY

 

Investigator Schefano, Officer Pettifer and a local police officer responded by water to a domestic call on a sailboat near Gulfport. While approaching the sailboat, the officers saw the captain of the vessel trying to leave the area by operating the vessel while dragging the vessel’s anchor. The officers boarded the vessel and immediately detected signs of alcohol impairment on the operator of the sailboat. The domestic issue involving two passengers on board was handled by the local police department. Standardized field sobriety tasks were administered to the operator of the sailboat, who was subsequently arrested for BUI and booked into the Pinellas County Jail.

 

While on water patrol in John’s Pass, Officers Ludtke and Burks were alerted by a boater that an individual stumbled to his vessel and left from a dock by a waterside bar. The officers located the vessel and initiated a boating safety inspection. During the inspection, signs of impairment were detected. Standardized seated field sobriety tasks were administered to the boat operator, who was subsequently arrested for BUI and transported to the Pinellas County Jail.

 

Officers Ludtke and Pettifer were on land patrol when they received information from an off-duty police officer regarding two individuals keeping undersized snook near the John’s Pass Bridge. Upon arriving on scene, the officers saw the described vehicle and individual allegedly keeping the undersized snook leave the area. The officers initiated a traffic stop to conduct a resource inspection. The officers obtained consent to search the trunk of the vehicle and found two undersized snook in a cooler. The driver was cited for possession of undersized snook. Officers Ludtke and Pettifer returned to the bridge and located the second individual who was identified as fishing with the driver. Upon interviewing him, he admitted, post Miranda, to catching one of the snook. He gave it to his friend to run it back to his house so they would not be caught with the fish if checked by FWC. That individual was also cited for possession of an undersized snook.

 

While on patrol, Lieutenant Laskowski saw three individuals fishing under a bridge at the North Skyway. During a resource inspection, one of the individuals said they caught a few fish. One legal- sized mangrove snapper was in their cooler. While dealing with the three men, a green stringer was visible tied to some rocks below the seawall. Three undersized snook were found on it. After being read Miranda, one of the individuals admitted to catching the three snook and putting them on the stringer. The individual was cited for possession of over the bag limit of snook, and issued written warnings for possession of undersized snook and possession of snook without a snook permit.

 

While on land patrol at Fort Desoto, Officer Bibeau saw an individual wade fishing from the shoreline. From a concealed location, the officer observed and waited for the individual to return to his vehicle. After a resource inspection, the individual was found to be in possession of two out-of-season snook and five trout, one of which was undersized. The subject was cited accordingly.

 

Officers Godfrey and Martinez were driving on I-275 during a recent night shift and stopped to assist a disabled vehicle that was pulled over on the side of the interstate. When the officers approached the vehicle, the lone occupant exited and approached them. The subject began to act nervously and his answers to the officers’ questions were suspicious and inconsistent. Officer Martinez saw drugs in plain view in the car and asked the subject about them. Moments later, the subject fled on foot and, after trying to jump a fence, was subdued by the officers. After searching the subject and the car, the officers found more drugs including numerous prescription pills and a stolen firearm right where the subject had been sitting. The subject was a convicted felon and had a felony warrant for his arrest as well. The subject was booked into the Pinellas County Jail on numerous felony and misdemeanor charges.

 

While on patrol near John’s Pass, Officer Pettifer saw an individual fishing from shore. He approached the individual and initiated a resource inspection. The individual admitted to catching one small fish. In a white bucket behind the individual, Officer Pettifer found a 23-inch snook. The individual said he did not know what the regulations were for that fish but sent his wife back to their car to get a copy of the regulations. Shortly after, his wife returned carrying a cooler. When Officer Pettifer asked about the fishing regulations, she reported she had not been asked by her husband to retrieve any fishing regulations. The individual was cited for possession of an undersized snook.

 

SARASOTA COUNTY

 

Investigator Cooke received information that an individual had altered his required US Coast Guard captain’s license to obtain an FWC charter fishing license. Recently, the individual was adjudicated guilty for uttering a forged/altered instrument and possessing forged/counterfeited FWC license or permit. Both charges are third degree felonies.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

PASCO COUNTY

 

Officers from Pasco, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties conducted a detail for a large party on North Anclote Sandbar. The officers worked together to ensure boaters were operating safely and conducted several boating safety inspections, issuing several warnings, citations and an arrest for BUI. Additionally, the officers responded to a 911 call and assisted an injured female on a vessel.

 

 

SOUTH REGION A

 

CASES

 

MARTIN COUNTY

 

While conducting saltwater fisheries inspections, Officer Morrow encountered a group of subjects fishing at the end of a pier. Upon inspection of their coolers, Officer Morrow located an undersized lane snapper and an illegal pufferfish. When questioned about who had caught the fish, all three of the subjects denied having caught them and stated “two guys were here earlier and caught them.” All subjects in the group were issued written warnings for possession of the illegal fish. The illegal fish were then seized and returned to the resource.

 

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

 

Officers Allen and Brodbeck were on patrol at Slough Ditch near the Kissimmee River when they observed a male subject fishing from the S-85 South Florida Water Management District water control structure. The man had walked by several “No Trespassing” signs and was leaning against a rail where another posted sign was displayed. He also did not have a fishing license. He was issued a notice to appear in court for the trespassing violation and a warning for not having a fishing license.

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY

 

Officers Toby and Dial observed an individual fishing in a restricted area on South Florida Water Management District’s property at the Lake Harbor Structure near Lake Okeechobee. They conducted a fisheries inspection and had the individual exit the restricted property. The individual was in possession of undersized black crappie and fishing without a valid freshwater fishing license. The individual was issued two misdemeanor citations for possession of the undersized black crappie and trespassing on the restricted property. Additionally, the individual was issued a written warning for fishing without a valid freshwater fishing license.

 

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

 

Officer Payne was on land patrol in Fort Pierce conducting license and resource inspections. Upon arriving at the Taylor Creek spillway, he observed several individuals fishing. As he was approaching the fishermen, he saw a bucket that contained several snapper, a snook and several sheepshead. The fish were measured and all were found to be undersized except the sheepshead. Several snapper and the snook were still alive and were released. Several others were retained as evidence. One subject admitted to catching the fish and was cited for the violations.

 

Officer Payne was on land patrol when he observed several people fishing along the shoreline of the Indian River Lagoon by Old Fort Park. As he approached the two subjects, he observed a large snook on the sand. When he asked how big it was, one subject replied “32 inches.” Officer Payne inspected the snook and as he began to measure it for compliance, he noticed that the tail had been deliberately cut. The final measurement was 32.5 inches. One subject was cited for possession and harvest of an oversized snook. The fish was seized as evidence.

 

Officer Shermetaro was on land patrol near the bridge of the south causeway island when he observed several people in the water cast netting. He approached the subjects and discovered that they were harvesting fish only with a cast net. He then observed a bucket containing two small snook and several other unregulated fish. Asking about the fish in the bucket, both subjects admitted to catching the fish. Both subjects were cited for harvest of undersized snook and harvest of snook by illegal method. During the inspection, both snook appeared to be alive, so they were released back to the water.

 

Officer Miano responded to a report of criminal mischief occurring at Hawks Bluff Preserve State Park. Park rangers had discovered graffiti on an observation deck and wanted Officer Miano to investigate who might have defaced park property. The rangers determined that the level of graffiti was so extensive that removing the paint would not be cost effective and they would instead have to replace the painted boards. Officer Miano discovered several clues that pointed to a local individual. As more evidence was gathered, a case packet was put together and presented before the state attorney for review. Moving forward, the subject’s address was located and a subsequent interview of the subject was conducted. The subject, when presented with the evidence gathered against him, admitted to defacing park property and was cited for the violation.

 

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE

 

HENDRY COUNTY

Officer Muina responded to an alligator attack involving a dog at a local park and boat ramp located on Lake Okeechobee. After speaking with the owner of the dog and finding out where the attack happened, Officer Muina located the alligator and dog. A licensed alligator trapper was called and, with the assistance of Officer Muina and a deputy sheriff from a bordering county, the alligator was safely caught and turned over to the trapper. The alligator was nearly 11 feet long.

 

OKEECHOBEE COUNTY

 

Officer Crosby responded to the boat ramp in Okeechobee to investigate the report of an alligator attacking animals and being aggressive to people. Upon arrival, he learned the alligator had attacked a person walking his dogs and had taken a small dog that was not on a leash. The alligator remained in the area and could be seen still holding the deceased dog in its mouth. Due to complaints of the alligator already being aggressive towards people and now attacking animals at the boat ramp, a local trapper was contacted and the 12-foot alligator was captured at the boat ramp.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

BROWARD COUNTY

 

Officers Albert, Moore and Matthews participated at the “Blue Wild” expo in Fort Lauderdale and set up a booth with educational material for the public. They spoke to approximately 150 people, mostly on fresh and saltwater fishing regulations, boating safety equipment, commercial fisheries, hunting and invasive species. They also had an alligator and a ball python for the public to view. In addition, they made several contacts with potential FWC officer candidates.

 

Investigator Teems, Officer Wright and K-9 Zoey participated in a career day at a local preparatory academy. There were approximately 50 students in attendance and they discussed the importance of preserving Florida’s natural resources. They displayed several animals and conducted a K-9 demonstration.

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY

 

Public Information Officers Moore, Matthews and several other FWC officers and dispatchers participated in the Palm Beach County Torch Run to benefit the Special Olympics. Most officers ran the entire length of the 5K run. After the run, the officers spoke with numerous children and their caretakers who were there offering support along the way.

 

 

SOUTH REGION B

 

CASES

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

Shortly after midnight, while on patrol in Picayune Strand State Forest, Officer Reams saw a vehicle traveling south on Miller Boulevard. As the vehicle turned onto Stewart Boulevard, Officer Reams observed two subjects in the bed of the truck working lights towards the tree line on either side of the road. The forest is closed to visitors after sunset, so Officer Reams conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. Officer Reams saw two subjects in the bed of the truck, one with a handheld spotlight and the other with a headlight. The subjects also had a loaded .22 rifle in easy reach of both men. Officer Reams requested Officer Tidwell respond as backup. After speaking to the subjects, the officers discerned that the driver of the truck had a revoked driver’s license. All three subjects were arrested and transported to the Collier County Jail for gun and light violation and the driver was also cited for driving with revoked driver’s license.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

 

FWC Investigators in Miami identified and returned a stolen PWC to a victim/owner a year after his two PWCs were stolen. The owner, who did not have the PWC insured at the time of the theft, was ecstatic and extremely grateful for the recovered PWC. Each of his PWCs were worth $15,000 when they were stolen in 2016. The victim/owner is hopeful that the companion PWC will also be located and recovered.

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

Officer Rubenstein was conducting a resource check in the lower Keys and saw a van parked on the side of the road with a few coolers inside. Officer Rubenstein approached one individual that was there fishing and noticed a large amount of snapper in his bucket as well as in coolers in the vehicle. The individual then apologized for not telling the truth about the large amount of snapper in the car. The individual possessed a total of 45 mangrove snapper, 6 of which were undersized, and 2 undersized mutton snapper. The individual was arrested and booked into jail for the major violation.

 

Officers Wilkins and Larios were patrolling the Channel Two Bridge when they came upon a white minivan with several individuals loading fishing gear into the back. Inside the trunk of the minivan was a cooler with an oversized parrotfish, a black bag with four undersized schoolmaster snapper and a bag containing an undersized mutton snapper. Officer Wilkins then placed the individual under arrest and booked him into the Plantation Key Jail on several misdemeanor charges.

 

RESCUES

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Mahoney, Officers Tidwell and Barringer assisted the Collier Fire and Florida Forest Service personnel with a ten-acre fire that occurred at the Jones Mine mulching facility. Their efforts included patrolling the bird rookery located in the south portion of CREW WMA using a side-by-side UTV to clear the hiking trails for visitors, search for hot spots due to the high winds and securing the area where fire personnel attended to the mulch piles.

 

Officers Yaxley, Kleis, Plussa, Arbogast and Lugg responded to a missing person call on Cape Romano. The 911 caller reported that an elderly male was conducting geological surveys and had lost contact with his group on land. When his group went to search for him, they found his boat beached and half sunk. Lieutenant Sushil provided incident command from land and coordinated the responding units. Officers Yaxley, Kleis and Plussa were dropped off and searched the densely wooded island on foot. Officers Lugg and Arbogast conducted searches from their patrol vessels around the island. The Collier County Sheriff’s deputies also assisted in the search with their helicopter searching from overheard. The subject was located by a civilian transiting the north side of the Cape who saw the man waving him down. The civilian returned the missing person to the officers on the island for first aid due to dehydration and fatigue.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

Officers Plussa, Lugg, Arbogast, Kleis and Yaxley participated in two targeted enforcement details over the weekend. The first was aimed at addressing violators of the slow speed and 30 mph manatee speed zones throughout the area. The officers stopped numerous vessels and issued multiple citations and warnings. The second detail involved the officers teaming up with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit to walk Keewaydin Island by foot, interacting with beachgoers and addressing public safety violations such as BUI, underage drinking, and environmental violations such as littering, and violations of the critical wildlife area where protected shorebirds were nesting. The officers interacted with dozens of patrons and educated many on common laws and violations due to the following week’s upcoming canoe race.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Shea and Officer Thurkettle attended the annual Naples High School JROTC Military Ball and program describing the responsibilities of the FWC, the role of an FWC Officer, and how to become an FWC Officer. The students had questions about exotic reptiles, fishing and hunting regulations, general law enforcement, and endangered animals. Both Lieutenant Shea and Officer Thurkettle had attended the Naples High School JROTC program participants during their four years in high school and discussed with the students the value of the leadership training they received in the program and how it could benefit them in their future careers in law enforcement.