The Meatheads of the Week, 1/30/2017

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Law Enforcement Weekly Report January 20 through January 26, 2017

NORTHWEST REGION

 

CASES

 

CALHOUN COUNTY

 

Officer Baber, while off duty, saw a vehicle backed into a wooded area dumping trash. He noted the vehicle’s tag number and relayed the information to Officer Little, who located the subject at his residence and admitted to dumping the trash. The suspect was charged with dumping an amount exceeding 15 pounds.

 

Officers Burkhead and Little responded to a landowner who saw a vehicle pull onto his property with a light being displayed and heard a shot from the vehicle. The landowner provided a partial tag number to the officers and told them the same vehicle had pulled onto his property and shot a few nights before. The officers were able to identify a subject and conducted an interview, during which the subject admitted to shooting at an 8‑point buck on both occasions and provided a sworn statement. Two counts of attempting to take deer with gun and light, two counts of road hunting and two counts of trespass will be direct filed through the state attorney’s office. A .17 caliber rifle and spotlight were seized as evidence.

 

Officers Burkhead and Little were contacted by a complainant who saw a photo on Facebook of a hunter posing with a deer. The complainant told the officers he had game camera photos of the same deer on his property where no one else had permission to hunt. The officers interviewed the subject in the photo who denied shooting the deer, but provided the name of an individual who did kill the deer. After conducting an investigation and numerous interviews, the officers determined that two subjects shot the deer at night and the deer head was presently at a taxidermist’s shop. A records check showed that both individuals are convicted felons. Charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, taking deer at night with gun and light, road hunting and trespass will be direct filed through the state attorney’s office. A 12‑gauge shotgun and an 8‑point deer head and cape were seized as evidence.

 

ESCAMBIA COUNTY

 

Officers were working a night-hunting detail in the north end of the county when FWC Pilot Tolbert and Lieutenant Golloher, acting as a spotter, saw a subject shining a light in a manner capable of disclosing deer. They directed Captain Rondeau to the subject’s location to investigate. Captain Rondeau attempted to stop the vehicle, but the subject fled. Officers Clark and Long assisted in the pursuit along with the Aviation Unit. After a lengthy pursuit, the subject was finally apprehended by Captain Rondeau and Officers Long and Clark. The subject had an outstanding warrant in Alabama and charges were filed in Florida for felony fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, night hunting, felony driving on a suspended license and possession of a firearm/ammunition by a convicted felon.

 

FRANKLIN COUNTY

 

Officer Matechik received a trespassing complaint from a private landowner that a vehicle and boat trailer were behind the residence. Officers Miller, Fletcher, Stephens, and Richardson worked together to track down the vehicle, which was known by the officers. Later in the day, they located the oyster vessel on the Carrabelle River bank with one of the suspects sitting next to a fire. Soon after, the vehicle described in the trespassing complaint pulled up and was stopped by the officers. A subsequent inspection of the vessel revealed eight bags of untagged oysters. While searching, one of the suspects attempted to throw something into the water after he was told not to move. A small bag of methamphetamine from recovered from the water and other paraphernalia was discovered in the vessel. The Franklin County Sheriff’s K-9 was called out to walk around the vehicle and alerted on more paraphernalia inside. An inspection of the oyster bags also revealed undersized oysters. One of the two suspects had warrants out of Bay County on FWC citations. Charges were issued for untagged oysters, undersized oysters, possession of methamphetamine, possession of paraphernalia, interference with an FWC officer, tampering with evidence and open container.

 

JACKSON COUNTY

 

Officers Burkhead and Little received information that a hunter had taken an illegal deer. The complainant told the officers on which property the suspect was hunting. The officers located the suspect entering the property and interviewed him about the illegal deer. He led the officers to a deer carcass of a three‑point buck and was charged with taking deer with less than three points on one antler.

 

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

 

While on patrol in Blackwater Wildlife Management Area (WMA), Officer Land stopped to check two hunters who were standing near their vehicles. When asked to see their hunting licenses, one of the men replied that he was just driving around. The front seat of the man’s truck had a hunter orange vest and a rifle was in the back seat. Eventually, the man admitted to participating in man drives. He had no valid hunting license or required permits and came back as a convicted felon when his information was run through Dispatch. The firearm was seized and the individual was arrested for the violations.

 

While on patrol near Gulf Islands National Seashore, Officer Land and Park Ranger Robinson stopped to check a group of duck hunters near Ft. McCree. While Officer Land was inspecting one of their firearms, he found that it was capable of holding more than three shells. It is illegal to use a firearm capable of holding more than three shells while hunting migratory birds and the hunter was issued a notice to appear for the violation.

 

Officer Hoomes was notified of a trespassing complaint and while working this complaint, he encountered two subjects squirrel hunting on the complainant’s property. These two subjects were not related to the original complaint. The subjects were issued citations for trespassing and for not possessing Florida hunting licenses.

 

Officer Hoomes was notified of an illegal deer that was killed in the Hutton Unit of the Blackwater WMA. He made contact with the subject who took him to the deer. The antlered deer was smaller than the regulations allow for the area and was issued a citation for the violation. The deer was seized and donated to a local charity.

 

OKALOOSA COUNTY

 

Officer Pifer was conducting saltwater fisheries and license inspections on a local bridge when he came in contact with an individual actively engaged in fishing. When he asked to inspect his saltwater fishing license, the individual then picked up a tackle box and began looking inside. While doing so, the individual turned away from the officer and appeared to be concealing something inside. For the officer’s safety, he stepped around the individual to regain visual of the tackle box and the individual quickly closed the lid. Officer Pifer asked if he could look inside and the individual gave consent. Inside the tackle box, a glass smoking device was found which contained partially burnt cannabis. The individual was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Officer Pifer was on routine land patrol in the Eglin WMA when he saw a vehicle approaching his location after legal hours. A traffic stop was initiated to address the violation and as he approached the driver’s side door, he detected the odor of burnt cannabis coming from the vehicle. Both individuals were checked for weapons and a glass, smoking device commonly used to smoke cannabis was located. A search of the vehicle revealed another smoking device under the front passenger’s seat. The driver was also found to be in possession of a small amount of cannabis. Both individuals were cited for the possession of cannabis under 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, and trespassing after hours. Eglin Air Force Base Security Forces also issued the individuals notices of violations which suspended the driver’s recreational privileges on the WMA for one year and the passenger’s recreational privileges for five years, due to multiple previous violations.

 

WALTON COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Hollinhead and Officer Tison responded to private property after they were notified about a subject trespassing by the land manager of the property. Officer Tison made contact with the subject who was hunting in a tree stand on the private property. A trespass warning was issued at the request of the land manager.

 

RESCUES

 

SANTA ROSA COUNTY

 

Officers Land and Manning responded to a call of a distressed vessel. A family of four was on board their vessel in Escambia Bay when their motor stopped and their boat began to take on water. A Good Samaritan in the area agreed to tow the vessel back to the boat ramp and Officer Land escorted the family back to shore.

 

 

NORTH CENTRAL REGION

 

CASES

 

ALACHUA COUNTY

 

Officers Troiano, Starling and Hilliard worked illegal duck-hunting activity over the weekend from information received by Officer Stanley. The officers located the baited area in the early morning and from a concealed location, they saw several hunters attempting to harvest waterfowl. Several violations were seen, including six misdemeanors, multiple license violations and several warnings were issued.

 

CITRUS COUNTY

 

Officers Canfield and Bergwerff were conducting federal fisheries patrol on their offshore patrol vessel Fincat when they saw a vessel fishing in federal waters. A marine fisheries inspection was conducted and three undersized mangrove snappers were located on the vessel. The operator of the vessel was issued a federal warning for the violation.

 

Officers Canfield and Bergwerff saw a vessel travelling east approximately 25 miles offshore. A vessel stop was initiated on the commercial charter vessel with three customers on board. The charter captain indicated he had fished state waters earlier in the trip and caught some fish there and some in federal waters. A marine fisheries inspection revealed 31 mangrove snapper on board, which is one over the federal bag limit. Further inspection revealed 30 of the mangrove snapper to be under the federal 12-inch size limit and several of which were also under the state 10-inch size limit. The charter captain was issued a federal citation for possession of undersized mangrove snapper and a case package will be forwarded to NOAA.

 

CLAY COUNTY

 

Officer Barber and Lieutenant Glover were on land patrol inside Belmore State Forest when the officers, from a concealed position, noticed a flashlight and saw three subjects surrounding a fire. The officers then saw one of the subjects pull out a pistol and fire a round into the woods. The officers initiated a stop to address the multiple violations they had seen. Upon consent of the owner, a vehicle search produced a mason jar containing cannabis. There were several citations issued to the three subjects that included possession of less than 20 grams of cannabis, discharge of a firearm in a public place and being inside Belmore State Forest after hours.

 

DUVAL COUNTY

 

Officers Schirbock and Shearer made several state and federal fisheries cases while on JEA patrol out of Mayport. Citations were issued for vermillion snapper, black sea bass and greater amberjack violations. Two occupants on one vessel were cited when four filleted red snapper were discovered in their possession. As they returned to the boat ramp, a suspicious vehicle check resulted in the felony arrest of a 23-year old man for lewd and lascivious assault on a child less than 16 years old.

 

While conducting a federal fisheries patrol out of Jacksonville, the crew of the Sentinel, Officers Geib, Read, and Lieutenant Givens, saw a vessel with two people on board actively fishing. Officer Geib boarded the vessel to find that the fishermen possessed eight red snapper which are currently illegal to possess in federal waters, along with three undersized black sea bass. Officer Geib issued the fishermen federal citations for the violations.

 

As the Sentinel approached a vessel sitting in the water over a charted fishing spot, Lieutenant Givens watched, through binoculars, the lone occupant of the vessel working on the port side of his vessel opposite to the approach of the Sentinel. As the Sentinel got closer, the occupant of the fishing vessel started his boat, got it up on plane, turned directly to the Sentinel and came down the port side of the patrol vessel. Officer Geib and Lieutenant Givens could see something floating in the water where the fishing vessel had been sitting. Upon arrival at the location, the officers found four dead red snapper floating on the surface of the water. Officer Read boarded the vessel to complete an inspection while Lieutenant Givens and Officer Geib retrieved the four fish. The operator was issued a federal citation for possession of red snapper and for disposing of fish after an approach of a law enforcement vessel.

 

The crew of the Sentinel boarded a commercial fishing vessel approximately 55 miles east of Jacksonville and found that the vessel did not possess valid federal fishing permits. After confirming with NOAA that the vessel’s permits were expired by several months, Officer Geib issued the captain of the fishing vessel a citation for the violation. All cases will be submitted to NOAA for prosecution.

 

UNION COUNTY

 

Officer Gill received a report of a shot being fired in a hunting club after dark. He responded to the area and saw two subjects shining a flashlight in the woods close to where the shot had been fired. The two hunters had recently shot a spike buck deer and Lieutenant Huff responded to the scene to assist with the investigation. After recovering the deer, the subjects admitted to shooting the deer by shining the deer with a flashlight and shooting it with a rifle. The officers returned to the subjects’ residence where they located and seized the rifle and the deer as evidence. The subjects were cited for taking deer at night by gun and light and for taking an undersized buck deer.

 

RESCUES

 

ALACHUA COUNTY

 

FWC officers assisted state park officials with an individual who had a driving accident while entering the park. After the individual was parked, state park officials monitored him for a day. Realizing the man needed help, EMS was notified and were able to determine that the man was having serious health issues and probably was experiencing problems associated with having a stroke. The man was transported to Shands Hospital where he was admitted to the ICU. The officers then notified family members in Arkansas who were able to fly into Gainesville. They also assisted the son with arrangements for transportation to Paynes Prairie Park to get the victim’s truck and camper, and find lodging in the area until his dad was released from the hospital. With the help of several agencies and persons, the family was soon able to return to Arkansas and were extremely grateful for all the help they received while in Florida.

 

 

NORTHEAST REGION

 

CASES

 

SUMTER COUNTY

 

While on water patrol, Officers Scrambling, Phillips and Sweet saw a vessel working a light along the west shoreline of the lake. The vessel was occupied by two individuals. During a resource inspection, the officers discovered the individuals to be in possession of six musk turtles – the daily bag limit is one. They were charged appropriately and the turtles were returned alive to the wild.

 

VOLUSIA COUNTY

 

Officer North stopped two trucks traveling on a closed road in Lake George WMA. The passenger in one of the trucks appeared to hide something in the glove box. Permission was given to search the truck from the driver and a small amount of cannabis and drug paraphernalia were located in the glove box. The juvenile passenger claimed the contraband as his property. Both vehicle operators were cited for driving on a closed road. The juvenile was cited for the cannabis violation and released to the custody of his father.

 

 

SOUTHWEST REGION

 

CASES

 

CHARLOTTE COUNTY

 

Officer Sehl received a call about a commercial fisherman using a seine net in a closed area. When she arrived on scene, she saw the fisherman pulling in some seine nets. The fisherman was stopped for inspection and after measuring the nets, she educated the fisherman on the closed area and issued him a citation for the violation.

 

HERNANDO COUNTY

 

Officers Canamero, Henry, Little, and Spradlin worked together in locating and arresting four subjects for excavating artifacts on state land. The investigation led to the seizure of more than 100 items. One of the four subjects was additionally found in possession of methamphetamine. All subjects were taken to jail and charged accordingly.

 

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

 

During a saltwater retail inspection in Tampa, Officer Messman conducted discovered several boxes of oysters offered for sale for human consumption in a walk-in cooler room. The room was not equipped with the required thermometer to show the saltwater products were being stored at the required temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Officer Messman took the temperature of the room in two different locations and found the room to be approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The manager of the business was cited for failure to maintain potentially hazardous seafood at the required safe temperature.

 

LEE COUNTY

 

Officers Rogers and Stanley stopped a vessel to conduct a marine fisheries inspection in San Carlo’s Bay. Prior to the inspection of the catch, the defendant was asked what he had caught and he stated “sea trout.” When he was asked what size the fish were, he advised that they “were probably not legal size.” Three sea trout were located that measured approximately 10 inches, 11 inches and 12 inches. The legal size limit of sea trout is 15 inches. The fish were photographed and returned to the water. A notice to appear for possession of 3 undersized seatrout was issued to the defendant.

 

Officers Fogle and Wilkenson responded to a citizen-support group complaint in reference to the alleged physical disturbance of a couple of active gopher tortoise burrows in Cape Coral. A member of the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, a volunteer organization, had reported that the burrows were located on a privately owned lot that was currently undergoing site preparation for new home construction. Upon their arrival, the officers saw two burrows located along the back side of the lot. It was also noted that the lot had already been cleared, graded, and partitioned with a silt fence in preparation for fill-dirt to be delivered. Both burrows had been staked to identify them as gopher tortoise burrows, and the entrance to one of the burrows had been completely blocked with several rocks. Officer Fogle documented their findings and later during the investigation, confirmed that an FWC gopher tortoise permit had been issued in accordance with a wildlife survey of the property. The conditions of the permit required that a licensed agent trap the tortoises and temporarily relocate them off the property prior to the start of any site work. The plan was to then safely return the tortoises to the original burrows after the site work was finished. However, it was shown that both the general contractor as well as a person acting as a liaison between the contractor and the property owners had failed to properly coordinate the removal of the tortoises with the agent prior to beginning the work. At the officer’s request, the City of Cape Coral immediately issued a “Stop Work Order” for the property until such time as the agent could ascertain the condition of the tortoises and proceed with her tasks. Although neither party claimed responsibility or knowledge about the placement of the rocks, both the contractor and the property owner’s representative were cited for the permit violation, and issued criminal notices to appear in court.        

 

PINELLAS COUNTY

 

While on land patrol near the North Skyway Fishing Pier, Officer Bibeau and Lieutenant Van Trees made contact with four individuals to conduct a fisheries inspection. At first, the individuals advised the officers that they hadn’t caught any fish. Upon further investigation, Officer Bibeau located grocery bags filled with fish in the open trunk of their vehicle. A fisheries inspection revealed an 18-inch snook. At the conclusion of a subsequent interview, one of the individuals admitted to catching the snook with the use of a cast net. The individual was issued misdemeanor citations for the fisheries violations and two warnings for failing to obtain a valid fishing license and snook permit.

 

While on foot patrol at the North Skyway Relief Bridge, Officer Bibeau conducted a fisheries inspection on two individuals that were actively fishing from the shoreline. At the conclusion of the inspection, a 25-inch snook was found inside a sealed bucket. One of the individuals admitted to catching the snook and was issued two misdemeanor citations for the snook violations, and a warning for not having a valid snook permit.

 

Officers Pettifer and Bibler conducted a resource inspection resulting in an individual being cited for possession of 11 undersized sheepshead. Lieutenant Laskowski also conducted a resource inspection at the North Skyway Bridge, resulting in an individual being cited for possession of 14 undersized sheepshead.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

LEE COUNTY

 

Officer Furbay performed panther enforcement in the Lee County panther zones. During his enforcement, he issued two infractions with the highest speed being 75 miles per hour in the 45 mile per hour zone.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

CHARLOTTE COUNTY

 

Officers from Lee, Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties participated in a celebration of the Webb WMA’s 75th Anniversary. The event offered a large array of things to do and was free to the public. The event started with a welcoming speech from FWC Commissioner Priddy and FWC Executive Director Wiley. Afterwards, people enjoyed live music, kayaking, fishing, K-9 demonstrations, hay rides, skeet shooting and many displays from area biologists. Nearly 500 people attended the event.

 

HARDEE COUNTY

 

Officers Cloud and Kobs conducted an outreach event for the Hardee County Gun Club in Wauchula, which had approximately 20 people in attendance. During the outreach, Officers Cloud and Kobs discussed regulations, seasons, and answered several questions. The officers also talked about what the daily duties are as an officer, and what equipment they use to do their jobs. Officer Cloud brought in K-9 Donzi and spoke about how important our K-9 program is. He also talked about situations where K-9s have been instrumental in making cases.

 

 

SOUTH A REGION

 

CASES

 

ST. LUCIE COUNTY

 

Investigator Patterson saw eight subjects at the John Brook’s Beach Access in Fort Pierce, who were in possession of three coolers and a five-gallon bucket. Two fishing nets were in plain view inside the five-gallon bucket and five of the eight subjects’ clothing were wet and dirty, consistent with using a cast net. One of the coolers contained 10 snook, 3 sheepshead and 1 mangrove snapper. The five wet subjects verbally stated that they used the cast nets to catch the fish and were cited accordingly.

 

RESCUES

 

GLADES COUNTY

 

Lieutenant Brown and Fisheating Creek Technician Coleman were notified about two lost hikers in the Fisheating Creek WMA. One of the lost hikers was a diabetic and stated over the phone that he was on the verge of passing out and his wife could not speak or understand English. Mr. Coleman and Lieutenant Brown worked together and quickly found the lost hikers, supplied the husband with orange juice and crackers, and transported him and his wife back to the campground.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

PALM BEACH COUNTY

 

Officers Moss, Rogers, and Carroll participated in a two-day detail which focused on license and fisheries checks of charter headboats. The officers went on water patrol from Jupiter inlet into federal waters. The first stop was on a large charter headboat with multiple customers on board. The captain of the vessel was screaming at the officers and advised that he did not have time for all of this and he did not catch anything. Upon inspection, Officers Carroll and Rogers found yellow tail snapper and a dolphin. When the captain was asked why he said he had “no fish,” he stated “of course I have fish, this is what I do for a living.” The captain was not in possession of state or federal permits required for operating a charter headboat. He was issued 2 federal citations for no federal snapper grouper permit and no federal dolphin wahoo permit. He was also issued a state infraction for no charter fishing license. Later in the day, the officers also stopped a recreational vessel to complete a fisheries inspection. The operator of that vessel was found to be in possession of 5 undersized vermilion snapper. The operator was issued a state citation. During the 2-day detail, 17 hours of federal water patrol were recorded, 13 vessel stops we made and multiple citations and warnings were written.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

BROWARD COUNTY

 

While patrolling in the Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park, Lieutenant L. McDonald and Officer Ariza saw that there was a wedding ceremony at the Jetty Pavilion. They cleared the park at sunset and noticed several subjects looking in the sand with flashlights in the wedding party area. They had lost the wedding rings in the sand. Lieutenant McDonald and Officer Ariza borrowed a rake from the park ranger assigned to the event and began to rake the sand looking for the rings. They found the first ring and ran it to the wedding ceremony. The other 2 rings were found after the ceremony which made for a very “happily ever after.”

 

 

SOUTH B REGION

 

CASES

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

Officers Arbogast and Kleis responded to an anonymous call of an individual possibly keeping an undersized and out-of-season snook at one of the local bridges. As Officer Arbogast arrived on the scene, he saw an individual matching the description of the individual. With only a legal-sized sheepshead in sight, Officer Arbogast asked the individual if he had caught anything else. The individual replied that he had only caught one other fish, but had thrown it back into the water. When the individual could not provide a valid fishing license, the officers had the individual follow them back to the parking lot. While walking toward the vehicles, the individual stated that he did actually keep another fish. He explained that the fish was in his vehicle, but he was unaware of what type of fish it was. Upon voluntarily opening his cooler, one undersized and out-of-season snook was seen. Officer Kleis made contact with the anonymous caller, who said that when the individual caught the snook, he was told that it was out of season, measured using the caller’s offered measuring stick and said “I am going to keep it anyways.” The subject was issued a notice to appear for two misdemeanor violations for the out-of-season and undersized snook. He was also issued a citation for not having a valid fishing license and warned for not having a valid snook permit.

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

Officers Mobley and Wagner were on land patrol working a bridge detail on Long Key. A marine fisheries inspection resulted in a citation for not having a saltwater fishing license. While Officer Mobley ran the subject through dispatch, the subject was in violation of a domestic violence court injunction. The subject was then placed in custody and transported to the Marathon County Jail.

 

Officer Lopez was on foot patrol at Key West dingy docks in the Lower Keys when he recognized a man wanted on an outstanding warrant. Officer Lopez asked him for identification and the subject gave the officer a different name and was detained. The officer showed the subject his picture with his name and information on it and the subject finally admitted to the officer that he was not truthful. He was arrested by Officer Lopez and transported to the Key West Jail by Key West Police Department without any incident.

 

RESCUES

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

Officers Araujo and Osorio-Borja responded to a call in reference to a Marine Emergency Response Team (MERT) alert received by the United States Coast Guard (USCG), reporting that four adults and two dogs were stranded at a cabin on Little Marco Island. The reporting party advised that they were out of food, water and medications needed for one of the persons. The officers met with an EMS/FIRE vessel while in route to the area and followed them back to the dock for further investigation. The reporting party advised that they were dropped off on the island Friday night and expected to return on Sunday, but due to high winds and inclement weather, the group was unable to arrange for transport back to the dock. The group was thankful and appreciative of FWC’s response and attention in assisting them with their stressful situation.

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

Officers Schroth, Larios and Garcia responded to a kayaker in distress located in South Sound Creek. The kayaker was able to send a picture of himself on the water hanging on to a mangrove and sent his coordinates via cell phone to a friend. The officers launched a vessel out of John Pennekamp State Park and Officer Garcia was able to use a kayak to reach the individual in distress. The individual was recovered with no substantial injuries and was reunited with his loved ones.

 

Officers Maldonado and McKay responded to a call in Key Largo where a live-aboard was requesting medical assistance on his vessel. After locating the vessel, the officers gathered more information and responded to shore to pick up waiting EMS personnel and two USCG medics. During that time, Officers Rafter and Janzen arrived by water to remain with the male who had been stuck in his forward cabin for two days after tripping over his cat and injuring his hip. With all units on the scene, the male was successfully removed from his vessel and brought to shore for advanced treatment. The victim’s cat and dog were taken aboard a friend’s boat for safekeeping. Officer Rafter is working with the registered owner, not the victim, to bring the boat into compliance with all applicable maritime laws.

 

DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

The crew on the offshore patrol vessel Interceptor left out of Key West and patrolled protected areas while transiting to the Tortugas Ecological Reserves. During the transit, they conducted four vessel inspections on commercial snapper/grouper, shrimp and charter boats that were out fishing for multiple days. The officers encountered minor violations with the exception of the charter vessel “Tortugas Unlimited.” The vessel was actively fishing in south Atlantic waters and had three grouper species on board during the closed season. The captain started to claim that they had caught the grouper in Gulf of Mexico waters where those species were still open, and the officers then requested his federal gulf charter permit which he did not have. The officers then explained the violations to the captain and cited him accordingly.

 

The officers inspected a shrimp boat near Fort Jefferson in south Atlantic waters. The vessel had approximately 50 boxes of shrimp on board and advised the Gulf wasn’t producing so they were going to try at their current location. The vessel did not have a south Atlantic shrimp permit and had a minor Turtle Excluder Device violation. The captain advised he arrived that night and was able to confirm that by showing the boarding officers his GPS tracks. The shrimp vessel advised he was going to go back into the Gulf of Mexico.

  

On the second day of patrol, the officers departed Fort Jefferson and patrolled the North Ecological Reserve starting with the eastern boundary and continued toward the western boundary and were approximately halfway through when they saw a radar contact moving very slow, then stopping near the southwest corner. The Interceptor crew made contact with the recreational vessel as it was fishing and anchored, both of which are violations inside the Ecological Reserve. During the boarding, the officers also issued citations for safety violations.

 

COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING

 

COLLIER COUNTY

 

Officers Araujo, Arbogast, Barringer, Curbelo, Johnson, Lugg, Osorio-Borja, Plussa, and Lieutenant Sushil participated in the 2017 Annual Naples Boat Show. The officers handed out pamphlets and discussed boating safety, federal and state fishing regulations, and living with bears and Florida panthers. The boat show was located in the heart of Collier County and produced one of highest amounts of attendance.

 

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY

 

Officers Ingellis, Martir-Negron and Washington participated in the 8th Annual Career Day at the Aventura City of Excellence School. More than 400 students, grades 1-8, were given a K-9 demonstration, important topics were discussed including endangered wildlife and boating safety, and two small alligators were used for show and tell.      

 

MONROE COUNTY

 

Officer Dube assisted the USCG with teaching the “Boat Smart” boating course in Islamorada. Officer Dube was an instructor for the weekender course and taught boating law, boating safety and the core mission of the FWC. There were 35 students, consisting of both adults and children, who passed the safety course.

 

Officer Dube was the co-host on the “Ladies Night Out” radio show at a local restaurant in Islamorada. Officer Dube was asked about current events and the FWC response from the recent storms in the Florida Keys. Officer Dube also talked about recent FWC resource cases and arrests.

 

Officer McKay assisted the Florida Park Service on Indian Key State Park Island where a local gifted school group was taking a field trip by charter vessel. A local historian/author/museum curator was giving a historic tour of the island to the 30 students, teachers and local art guild members. Officer McKay discussed the archeological laws as the historic site still contains numerous artifacts, some of which were found by the inquisitive students. Officer McKay explained how FWC works with the Florida Park Service to protect both the cultural and natural resources under Florida Department of Environmental Protection control and management. He then provided a sampling of the typical calls for service that have been reported on this particular park island during the past 15 years that he patrolled the area.