The Meatheads of the Week

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Weekly Report

May 5, 2017 through May 11, 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

 

Officers Allgood and Long found two people illegally camping in Perdido River Wildlife Management Area (WMA). Camping is only allowed in designated camping areas and entry into the area is prohibited one and a half hours after sunset. While speaking to the individuals regarding the violations, they were found to be in possession of marijuana. While addressing the violations, another vehicle drove into the parking area. Officer Long approached that vehicle, spoke to the driver and noticed there was a large pipe used for smoking marijuana on the passenger’s side floorboard. The driver and passenger of this vehicle were also found to be in possession of marijuana. Notice to appear citations were issued for possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

OKALOOSA COUNTY

 

Officers responded to two boating accidents involving two rented deck boats that were attempting to return to shore when they were swamped near the mouth of Boggy Bayou in Choctawhatchee Bay. Nine people were rescued from each of the sinking vessels. A combination of Good Samaritan boaters, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)-Destin and Eglin livery responders returned the passengers safely to the boat ramp.

 

WASHINGTON COUNTY

 

Officer Gore was on patrol at Culpepper Landing on Holmes Creek when he encountered two subjects on a vessel. Upon conducting a boating safety inspection, he noticed the operator seemed unsteady on his feet, fumbled with removing equipment, and had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his breath. Field sobriety tasks were conducted and the subject was determined to be under the influence and was arrested. He refused to provide a breath sample and was transported to the Washington County Jail and booked for BUI

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

 

Officers concentrated on off-shore fisheries patrols. They issued notice to appear citations for possession of undersized and over the bag limit of red snapper and possession of an undersized amberjack. Two other individuals were cited for possession of red snapper in federal waters. Red snapper season is currently closed in federal waters.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

OKALOOSA COUNTY

 

Officer Maltais assisted USCG-Destin with the annual safety meeting held by the U.S. Navy’s Strike Fighter Squadron 101 on Eglin Air Force Base. There were 220 sailors from the F-35 “Grim Reapers” squadron who attended the briefing. The USCG officers spoke about boating safety requirements on the water. Officer Maltais addressed BUI enforcement, boating accident reporting, local waterway navigation and state parks in preparation for the busy boating season and summer holidays.

 

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

 

Officer Lewis teamed up with FWC biologists to speak to approximately 120 students from Woodlawn Middle School at Blackwater River State Park. Officer Lewis spoke to the students about FWC’s mission, resource protection, boating safety and environmental laws.

 

Officer Arnette spoke to approximately 150 first-grade students from Baker Elementary School at the FWC Blackwater Fisheries Center in Holt. He talked about the role of an FWC officer and answered numerous questions from the young visitors.

 

 

NORTH CENTRAL REGION

CASES

CLAY COUNTY

 

Officer Barber and Lieutenant Glover were on water patrol in Black Creek conducting a safety inspection, with their emergency lights activated, on a vessel inside a no wake zone. The officers noticed a vessel coming in their direction on a full plane inside the no wake zone and had to make an evasive maneuver to avoid a collision with their patrol vessel. The officer broke away from their safety inspection and stopped the vessel that nearly collided with their vessel. Immediately, the operator showed signs of impairment and Officer Barber conducted field sobriety tasks to determine if the operator was impaired. Officer Barber determined the operator was under the influence of alcohol or drugs and placed the subject under arrest. The subject was transported to the Clay County Jail where he provided a breath sample that was over three times the legal limit. The operator was charged with BUI, reckless operation of a vessel and wake zone violation.

 

COLUMBIA COUNTY

 

Officer McDonald was on patrol in Itchetucknee Springs State Park when he saw an alcohol violation. Upon approaching the vehicle, in plain view, a cigar package was visible containing cannabis. Officer Johnston arrived on the scene a short time later and located two more marijuana cigarettes in the vehicle. One subject admitted to possession and purchase of the cannabis. The subject was issued a citation for the violation and the cannabis was seized as evidence.

 

DUVAL COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Arkin was dispatched to the Saint Johns River and the mouth of Julington Creek regarding an injured bald eagle floating in the water. The injured bald eagle was reported by a Good Samaritan who noticed it while recreating on his vessel. With the assistance of the Good Samaritan, the bald eagle was netted and transported to the Mandarin Park Boat Ramp where Officer Schirbock was waiting to assist him. Lieutenant Arkin and Officer Schirbock then freed the eagle from the net and Officer Schirbock transported it to a local rehabber. The bald eagle is going to be fine.

 

Officers Schirbock and Lumpkin were dispatched to the Ortega River where a subject on a vessel was tying up and towing away a posted derelict vessel currently being processed by FWC at the Wayne B. Stevens Boat Ramp. The officers stopped the vessels at the Timuquana Bridge at the Ortega River. The subject operating the towing vessel gave officers a fictitious name several times. It was later discovered that this subject was the original owner of the derelict vessel and was tying it off to prevent FWC from removing the vessel from state waters. The subject had warrants for leaving a derelict vessel on the Florida waters, failure to transfer vessel title, and for violation of probation for driving while license suspended or revoked (DWLSR). The subject was also in possession of narcotics and hypodermic needles. Officers Schirbock and Lumpkin arrested the subject for giving law enforcement a fictitious name and for the outstanding warrants. The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office (JSO) arrested the subject for also giving law enforcement a fictitious name, the JSO warrant and the drug and paraphernalia charges.

 

Officer Schirbock initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle travelling at an unsafe speed for conditions and weaving in and out of traffic without signaling. Upon contacting the driver, Officer Schirbock smelled a strong odor associated with cannabis coming from the interior of the vehicle. Upon being questioned about the possible cannabis, the driver handed over a plastic baggy of approximately 13 grams of Cannabis. The driver was issued a notice to appear in court for possession of cannabis under 20 grams.

 

NASSAU COUNTY

 

Several officers from Duval and Nassau counties worked in Nassau County on vessel patrol, assisting the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office and the Fernandina Beach Police Department with the annual Shrimp Festival parade and fireworks event. Wind conditions made for minimal vessel traffic on Saturday, but Sunday turned out to be a perfect day for the annual festival.

 

RESCUES

 

CLAY COUNTY

 

Officer Barber and Lieutenant Glover received a call from dispatch stating that there was a subject who was separated from her party and floating down black creek inside Jennings State Forest. The caller was worried because she had not seen the subject in hours and it was now dark. The St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office launched a helicopter with FLIR capabilities and located the subject on the river bank approximately 1½ miles from the party. Officer Barber arrived on the scene and walked down the bank of the creek toward the lost subject while Lieutenant Glover launched a kayak from the landing. Officer Barber found the subject waiting on the creek bank as she was unable to walk due to a medical condition. Lieutenant Glover arrived with the kayak, assisted the subject in it and walked/paddled the subject down to the second landing, approximately 1½ miles away where the rest of her party was waiting for her.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

CLAY COUNTY

 

Officer Starling and Lieutenant Glover attended the annual “Boy Scouts Merit Badge Blitz” at the Boy Scouts Camp on Doctor’s Lake. The officers discussed the duties of an FWC officer, hunting and fishing regulations, boating safety and the importance of conservation. There were 128 boy scouts in attendance with several interested in becoming an FWC officer.

 

 

NORTHEAST REGION

 

CASES

 

BREVARD COUNTY

 

While returning from patrol at Sebastian Inlet State Park in the early morning hours, Officer Marroquin saw a vehicle stopped at an intersection with no visible lights. A traffic stop was initiated to address the violation, during which the driver showed signs of impairment from drugs and/or alcohol. The driver was asked to submit to field sobriety tasks and agreed. The driver performed poorly and was placed under arrest for DUI. At the jail, the driver refused to provide a urine sample. The driver was charged with appropriate citations and turned over to the Brevard County Jail.

 

Officer Marroquin was conducting resource inspections at a local fishing pier. While checking an individual for a fishing license, dispatch advised that the individual was wanted on an in-county felony warrant. The individual was placed under arrest and transported to the Brevard County Jail.

 

Officer Marroquin was conducting BUI enforcement at a local boat ramp when he saw the operator of a PWC returning from a spoil island without a lifejacket and violating the manatee zone. The operator showed signs of impairment as he stepped off the PWC. The operator performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was placed under arrest for BUI. Infractions were issued for refusal to submit to a breath test and for not wearing a lifejacket on a PWC.

 

A man charged with fleeing and eluding Lieutenant Lightsey earlier in the year pled guilty and was sentenced to 36 months of probation, 24 months of driver’s license revoked, 50 hours of community service and a $100.00 fine for the cost of prosecution.

 

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY

 

While working late-night resource protection at Oslo Boat Ramp, Officers Platt and Graves saw a vehicle stopped at the boat ramp. The driver started a conversation with the officers and, during the interaction, showed signs of impairment from drugs and/or alcohol. The driver was asked if he would submit to field sobriety tasks and he agreed. The driver performed poorly and was placed under arrest for DUI. At the jail, the driver was asked to provide a breath test which recorded over three times the legal limit of alcohol of .08 blood alcohol content. The driver was charged with DUI and turned over to the Indian River County Jail.

 

Officers Kearney and Dubose conducted a fisheries inspection at a local fish house. The inspection revealed numerous violations including undersized sheepshead, undersized amberjack and insufficient records. Criminal citations were issued for the offenses.

 

LAKE COUNTY

 

Officers Morrow and Teal received information that a man had shot a great blue heron on his dock. During their investigation, the subject admitted to shooting the bird. The officers seized an air pellet rifle used in the crime and transported the injured bird to the East Coast Rehab Center. Charges were direct filed with the state attorney’s office.

 

VOLUSIA COUNTY

 

The north and south Volusia County squads participated in a boating safety targeted enforcement which focused on a large boating event held annually on Lake George. Additional FWC officers and deputies from the Volusia and Lake County Sherriff’s Offices participated due to the expected size of the event. One BUI arrest was made and uniform boating citations and written warnings were issued.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

BREVARD COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Zamonis and Officers Platt, Griffin and Marroquin participated in an outreach event at Sweetwater and Midway Airboat Clubs this week during their monthly meetings. Topics included boating safety, airboat specific requirements, resource protection and BUI awareness. The airboat clubs were very excited to have FWC as guest speakers and appreciated all the information they shared.

 

RESCUES

 

BREVARD COUNTY

 

Officer D. Humphrey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife officers responded the to the report of a vessel that was overturned with people in the water at Mosquito Lagoon. Officer D. Humphrey responded by vessel and picked up the other officers on the way. With the assistance from the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, they located the sunken vessel and two men floating near the vessel. The men were rescued with the assistance of life jackets and a throwable device. A dog was also rescued. Both men and the dog were transported to shore and sustained no injuries.

 

 

SOUTHWEST REGION

 

CASES

 

HIGHLANDS COUNTY

 

Officer Smith was on night patrol travelling to check a boat ramp in Sebring and saw subject fail to yield or stop from a parking area before pulling out in front of Officer Smith’s patrol vehicle, causing him to slam on his brakes to avoid a side impact collision. A vehicle stop was initiated, and alcohol could be smelled emitting from the vehicle. Based on the results of field sobriety tasks, the subject was arrested for DUI. The subject’s breath samples revealed a result of 0.086.

 

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

 

Officers Ferguson, Martinez and Phillippi worked a targeted enforcement action plan focusing on freshwater net violations in Mobbly Bayou Preserve. The officers received numerous tips regarding the use of cast nets to harvest undersized snook in the brackish water of the ponds. Officer Martinez worked the area in plain clothes while fishing from the bank. Several fishermen were seen throwing cast nets in an area prohibited by a Pinellas County Ordinance. The fishermen were approached by Officer Ferguson and checked for freshwater fishing licenses. One of the fishermen did not have a fishing license, and one of them refused to identify himself when being told he was going to receive a written warning for the cast net violation. The subject refused to identify himself after numerous warnings and was arrested for obstruction without violence and taken to the Pinellas County Jail.

 

Officer Martinez was on land patrol near the Gandy Bridge when he saw a subject spearfishing just off the seawall. When the subject surfaced, he saw Officer Martinez and dropped his spear gun and a stringer of fish. The subject stated he didn’t have anything and was just snorkeling. Officer Martinez advised the subject that he saw all his gear and he needed to retrieve it and exit the water. As the subject went to retrieve his gear, he attempted to let the fish on his stringer go, and splashed the water to conceal the fish floating away from the officer. The fish floated to the surface and were seized. The subject had speared an out-of-season and undersized snook. Charges for illegal method of take, out-of-season and undersized snook, as well as obstruction, were issued to the subject.

 

LEE COUNTY

 

Officers Stanley and Winton conducted a marine sanitation inspection on a floating structure used as a bait shop near the mouth of the Caloosahatchee River. During their investigation, the officers discovered that the vessel’s sewage was pumped directly into the water. The bait shop owner was cited for the violation and provided information about how to properly dispose of human waste.

 

Officer Price and K-9 Officer Collazo were on ATV patrol in the South Florida Water Management District vacant lands west of Vincent Road, where they located a white Ford F250 pickup truck abandoned on Sand Road. The vehicle was reported stolen last month out of Lee County. Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies were transported to the off-road site with a side-by-side utility vehicle to complete the stolen vehicle recovery. The vehicle was subsequently removed and the vehicle owner was notified.

 

Officers Smith, Burks, Martin, Bergwerff, and Hughes got underway on the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Gulf Sentry. The officers left Saint Petersburg for a multiday patrol. They located the shrimp boat fleet off Lee County. One of the numerous shrimp boats the crew inspected had multiple turtle excluder device violations on more than one net. The vessel was issued three federal citations. On the last day of the patrol, a charter boat was inspected and the vessel captain did not have the proper USCG credentials. A federal citation was issued and the case was turned over to USCG.

 

PINELLAS COUNTY

 

While on land patrol near the Courtney Campbell Causeway, Officer Martinez saw a subject swimming in the water next to the seawall. He watched the subject for several minutes and realized that he was swimming back and forth facing the seawall as if he were spearfishing. Officer Martinez approached the subject and asked if he was fishing. The subject stated he was only “grabbing oysters.” After inspecting a bucket of oysters, Officer Martinez asked the subject if he had any other resource in his car, and he replied “no” and gave permission to search. A bag was found in the vehicle with four whole stone crab, one of which was egg bearing. The subject said he hid them under the passenger seat because he wasn’t sure if they were legal. The subject was issued the appropriate misdemeanor citations for his violations.

 

While on water patrol near the Gandy Bridge, Officer Phillippi and Lieutenant Van Trees saw numerous people fishing from the base of a bridge support. As the officers approached, a subject quickly ran away to the opposite side of the support beam where the officers couldn’t see him. Lieutenant Van Trees jumped from the boat to the support beam and followed the subject. He saw the subject taking a sheepshead off a string and was starting to throw it into the water. Lieutenant Van Trees shouted at the suspect right before he threw it into the water. Lieutenant Van Trees took possession of the fish and asked if there were any more fish. The subject replied “no,” but more undersized sheepshead were found in a nearby cooler. The subject was cited for possession of undersized sheepshead.

 

Officer Martinez was on land patrol on Gandy Beach when he saw a man wading in the water with a dip net and a plastic tub behind him. Officer Martinez performed a resource inspection and found that the man was in possession of 12 whole stone crabs, two egg-bearing and nine with claws smaller than the legal limit. Officer Martinez cited him for possession of whole stone crab and possession of undersized stone crab claws. He also issued the man a warning for possession of egg-bearing females.

 

Numerous officers responded to Belleair Causeway Boat Ramp in regards to a single vessel accident where one individual sustained serious injury. While gathering information, the officers saw signs of impairment from the operator. The vessel and other items were seized as evidence, and the operator was arrested for several navigation rule violations and BUI. Investigator Schefano will complete the accident report.

 

MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE

 

LEE COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Ruggiero responded to a call about a hawk stuck in a fence at Cypress Lake High School. When he arrived, he met with the complainant who had video of a red-shouldered hawk with its beak stuck through a chain link fence and it was unable to free itself. The complainant got the hawk free and it ran off into some nearby bushes. The hawk was hiding in the bushes and was captured using a towel. The red-shouldered hawk was delivered to CROW where it received a health check-up. The hawk did not have any major injuries and should make a full recovery.

 

RESCUES

 

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

 

Officers Phillippi and Ferguson responded to a call from dispatch about a jet ski that had run aground in the Rocky Creek area, just north of the Courtney Campbell Causeway. After other vessels were unable to get to the stranded subject, Officers Phillippi and Ferguson used a shallow-water flats boat to navigate the back waters during a very low tide. After pushing the vessel over a shallow grass bank, the officers located a subject wading through the water toward them. The jet ski operator was wet and complaining of being eaten by mosquitoes, but happy to see the responding officers. The officers took him on board and with the help of a full moon, transported him back through the skinny waters to the safety of the Courtney Campbell Boat Ramp.

 

PASCO COUNTY

 

Officer Cocke and Investigator Tsongranis responded to Lake Nash in Holiday to assist Pasco County Sheriff’s Office with the retrieval of three individuals that were stuck on the lake. One small vessel had become stuck when the wind had blown their vessel into heavy hydrilla. A Good Samaritan had also become stuck while trying to assist the other individuals. Officer Cocke and Investigator Tsongranis safely removed all the individuals and brought them back to shore.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

HARDEE COUNTY

 

Officer Franks conducted a community outreach at the Agri-Civic Center for the Hardee County Emergency Management Hurricane Expo. Officer Franks spoke to approximately 150 attendees about the role the FWC plays in emergencies and the equipment used to aid the public. He also talked about the many areas of conservation, law enforcement and boating safety. Officer Franks handed out a variety of information about Florida and answered questions from the public.

 

 

SOUTH REGION A

 

CASES

 

HENDRY COUNTY

 

Captive Wildlife Investigator Doricchi obtained a search warrant for a resident that was in possession of captive wildlife without a license. Members of FWC Special Operations Group (SOG) assisted by clearing the residence to ensure it was safe for the Captive Wildlife Investigators to enter. The search of the property revealed the illegal possession of a bobcat, raccoon, rattlesnake, red-tailed hawk and a crow. These animals were seized and placed at a properly licensed facility. The owner of the animals received 13 misdemeanor citations for the illegal possession of the animals, improper caging and other animal welfare violations. One non-criminal citation and nine warnings were also issued for violations related to this incident.

 

MARTIN COUNTY

 

Officer Cobo was called to assist Jonathan Dickinson State Park Ranger Bleau with a park patron flying an apparatus (drone) inside park boundaries. The patron refused to comply with the park ranger’s repeated requests to stop flying the drone. The park patron was issued two infractions, one for failing to comply with park staff and the other for deploying a flying apparatus inside a state park.

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY

 

A complaint was received that an unidentified subject was placing fishing lines in the water for catching turtles. During the months of May, June and July, no softshell turtles may be taken from the wild. Investigators Woolrich and Sierra responded to the area and located fishing lines. In addition, they saw softshell turtles hooked on several of the lines and no identifying information on the fishing lines (as required by law). The next day, Investigators Woolrich and Sierra contacted a subject they saw taking softshell turtles off the unmarked fishing lines. The subject was found to be in possession of seven softshell turtles. Investigator Woolrich issued the subject a citation for violations of possession of softshell turtles during closed season, over daily bag limit of softshell turtles, and taking softshell turtles using an unmarked fishing device. The Florida Administrative Code, 68A-25.002, contains general provisions for taking, possession and sale of reptiles, which includes softshell turtles.

 

Officers Godward and Spradling responded to a boating accident involving a dinghy that had crashed into the back of a motor boat. The operator of the dinghy was cited for careless operation and a boating accident self-report form was issued.

 

Officer Toby saw two individuals inside the South Florida Water Management District’s (SFWMD) Stormwater Treatment Area 1 West property. The two individuals were in an area that was closed to public access, were fishing in this area and had multiple game fish in their possession. Officer Muina arrived to assist. Officers Toby and Muina escorted both individuals out of the property and addressed the violations. Both individuals were issued two misdemeanor citations each; one for fishing in a closed area and one for illegal entrance into the property.

 

Officers Dial, Muina and Toby saw an individual fishing with a cast net near Belle Glade and conducted a fisheries inspection. The individual was unable to provide a valid freshwater fishing license and had caught six game fish with the cast net; specifically, two black bass, two bluegill, and two sunfish. The individual was issued a misdemeanor citation for taking game fish by illegal method and a written warning for fishing without a valid freshwater fishing license.

 

RESCUES

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY

 

Officers Toby and Dial were notified of multiple individuals who were lost in the J.W. Corbett WMA. The individuals had been driving in an unfamiliar area and gotten their vehicle stuck off trail. Once stuck, they flagged down an individual that was passing by for assistance. The assisting individual ended up getting stuck as well. In total, five individuals, including one young child, were stranded in the WMA and in need of assistance. Officers Toby and Dial located them and gave them water to drink. They all appeared to be in good condition. A tow company was used to remove the stuck vehicles. The individual driving the vehicle which first became stuck was educated and issued warnings for an off-trail violation and no management area permit.

 

Officers Godward and Spradling rescued a man who fell off his sailboat and was unable to get back into his vessel. They physically pulled the exhausted boater from the water and placed him into their patrol boat.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY

 

Officer Hankinson patrolled the intracoastal waterway in West Palm Beach during the Sun Fest Event. He promoted and monitored boating safety compliance in the high-traffic areas. Numerous boating violations were addressed accordingly.

 

 

SOUTH REGION B

 

CASES

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

While on patrol in Picayune Strand State Forest, Officer Lugg came across several subjects that were wet and seemed to have been fishing. When asked, they denied that they had been fishing. Upon further investigation, one subject admitted to fishing in the state forest and gave the officer consent to search his vehicle. In the trunk of the vehicle, a burlap bag was found that contained two snook, a tarpon, eight largemouth bass, and several other nonregulated freshwater species. The subjects were arrested for numerous misdemeanor violations, including undersized, out-of-season snook, taking saltwater and freshwater gamefish by illegal method, illegal possession of tarpon and over the bag limit for black bass.

 

Officers Curbelo and Polly responded to an anonymous tip that a subject had two small alligators in a fish tank in his residence. While investigating the complaint, the officers saw the subject leaving the area. Officer Polly remained near the subject’s residence to observe any activity, while Officer Curbelo followed the subject’s vehicle to a residence in Naples. When the subject exited his vehicle, Officer Curbelo approached the subject to speak to him. When the subject agreed to speak, he was read his Miranda rights. The subject stated that he still had the alligators in a fish tank in his bedroom and that he would take Officer Curbelo back to his house and turn the alligators over to him. While waiting for Officer Curbelo to return, Officer Polly was approached by the subject’s mother who asked why he was there. When Officer Polly replied that he was waiting for her son to return, the mother asked if it was about the alligators. Both the mother and son gave the officers consent to search the residence, and the officers discovered two juvenile American alligators in a fish tank in the subject’s bedroom. The subject was issued a notice to appear for two counts of illegal possession of American alligator.

 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

 

Officers from the off-shore patrol vessel OPV Fearless took part in a multi-day Dry Tortugas marine fisheries enforcement patrol. During their patrol and while returning to Ft. Jefferson from Pulley Ridge, they noticed a radar contact within the boundary lines of the North Tortugas Ecological Reserve. Upon approaching the anchored fishing vessel, the Fearless crew saw two yellowtail snapper floating directly behind its stern. The floating fish were recovered the officers boarded the vessel. They discovered 40 yellowtail snapper on board and the two floating snapper put the four fishermen over their daily allowable limit. The vessel was also in possession of 6 scamp grouper, 1 red grouper, and 1 mackerel. A consensual look through the captain’s GPS revealed a manually inputted coordinate in the exact location where he was anchored. All the fish were seized and the captain was cited for interference and illegally fishing in the North Tortuga Ecological Reserve.

 

Captive Wildlife Investigator Landa responded to a complaint regarding the illegal possession of a marmoset monkey. The individual was not licensed to possess the monkey, provided the information of the licensed individual who he received the monkey from, and was issued warnings for illegal possession of captive wildlife. Investigators Landa and Smith next visited the individual that transferred the monkey illegally. Misdemeanor citations were issued for the illegal transfer and improper caging, which led to an escape.

 

RESCUES

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

Officer Plussa was on patrol when he arrived on the scene of a two-car collision. Officer Plussa saw that one of the drivers was unable to exit her vehicle due to the damage on the driver’s side. Realizing that the vehicle was also leaking fuel, Officer Plussa assisted the driver from the vehicle from the passenger side and removed her to a safe distance. Officers Plussa and Johnson then remained on the scene to assist with traffic until the Sheriff’s deputies could respond.

 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

 

While OPV Fearless and crew were on patrol, Tow Boat US received a mayday call via cell phone. The persons in distress advised Tow Boat US that their vessel had sank and they were all in the water approximately 5 miles east of Elliot Key. Due to the rough offshore weather conditions, Tow Boat US called the OPV Fearless and relayed the information. The Fearless responded to the general vicinity and began searching along with a Miami-Dade police helicopter. Just minutes into the search, the Fearless saw the police helicopter hover over a specific area. The crew approached the area and noticed the sunken vessel with four individuals floating nearby. A rescue throw bag was tossed to them and all four individuals clung to the rescue line and were pulled to safety on board the Fearless. No medical treatment was necessary.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

COLLIER, MIAMI-DADE, MONROE COUNTIES

 

Officers from Collier, Monroe, and Miami-Dade counties, as well as the BUI Task Force, joined forces with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Marco Island Police Department, Naples Police Department, and the USCG for the 41st Annual Great Dock Canoe Race and resulting party on Keewaydin Island. This annual event draws large crowds of boaters and partygoers every year and this year was no exception. FWC officers checked 165 vessels and issued 36 boating safety citations. The officers arrested 6 subjects for BUI (the highest recorded blood alcohol content was .153).

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

 

Officers and command staff attended the annual Law Enforcement Memorial which took place in Tropical Park. The ceremony to honor fallen officers included agencies from city, state and federal levels. A 21-gun salute and a helicopter flyover concluded the ceremony.