Officer McMillion was conducting boating safety and resource protection inspections in the Mexico Beach Canal and saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying fishing gear. During an inspection of the vessel, the officer determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed three gray triggerfish in possession during closed season. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation.
Reserve Officer Cooper conducted a resource inspection in St. Andrews Bay of a vessel returning from fishing. During the inspection, the officer found three undersized gray triggerfish and several vermillion snapper. Gray triggerfish season is closed. Also, several of the vermillion snapper were undersized. Reserve Officer Cooper issued the captain of the vessel a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closed season and a warning for the undersized vermillion snapper.
Reserve Officer Cooper conducted a resource inspection in St. Andrews Bay of a vessel returning from fishing. During a fisheries inspection of the vessel the officer located numerous fish in the front fish hold. Also in the hold were several plastic bags. Two of the bags contained leftover bait but the third contained four fish fillets that were determined to be from red snapper. Among the whole fish found in the hold, the officer located an undersized red grouper. The captain of the vessel took responsibility for the red snapper fillets and one of the passengers took responsibility for the undersized red grouper. The captain was issued a citation for possession of red snapper during closed season and the passenger was issued a citation for the undersized red grouper.
Reserve Officer Cooper conducted a resource inspection in St. Andrews Bay of a vessel returning from fishing. During the fisheries inspection of the vessel, the officer located four red snapper in the fish box. The captain of the vessel took responsibility for the violation and was issued a citation for possession of red snapper during closed season.
Reserve Officer Cooper conducted a resource inspection in St. Andrews Bay of a federally permitted fishing vessel returning from fishing. During a fisheries inspection of the vessel, the officer located an undersized gray triggerfish in the bottom of the fish box. The captain of the vessel was issued a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closed season.
While on routine patrol, Officer Long received information regarding a person trespassing and fishing on private property. The suspect was cited for trespassing and fishing on the same property earlier this year. While Officers Long and McHenry were searching the property, the suspect was spotted and immediately fled northwest through adjacent properties. With assistance from FWC aviation assets and local K9 deputies, the suspect was apprehended and cited for resisting without violence, trespass after warning and interference with an FWC officer.
Officers Kossey and Martin were at Water Street Seafood when they saw subjects entering the seafood market. Officer Kossey approached the truck they were driving and spoke to a female occupant who stated they were selling triple tail. After an inspection, Officer Kossey determined the subjects were not in possession of a valid saltwater products license that is required to sell fish. Both subjects were cited and four triple tail were seized as evidence.
Officer Brower was on night land patrol at the Jim Woodruff Dam in Chattahoochee. He saw a man sitting on the tailgate of a truck in the parking lot. As he approached, he saw three coolers in the back of the truck. Officer Brower asked if there were any fish in the coolers and the man stated he did have some fish. Officer Brower asked the man if he had a fishing license and the man showed him a valid freshwater fishing license. The man opened the coolers which had bream, hybrid bass and black bass fillets. Officer Brower counted 76 bream. Twenty-six bream were seized and the appropriate citation for over the limit bream was issued.
Officers M. Webb and H. Webb were on patrol in federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 14 miles south of Panama City Beach when they conducted a resource inspection of a recreational fishing vessel. The vessel had been actively fishing. During a resource inspection, the officers found the occupants of the vessel in possession of gray triggerfish during closed season. The captain was issued a citation for possession of gray triggerfish during closure.
Officers Pifer, Baber, and Homan were on vessel patrol around Crab Island when they stopped a vessel in violation of the idle speed zone. During the stop, the operator showed signs of impairment and admitted to consuming alcohol. Officer Pifer administered standardized field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the field sobriety tasks, Officer Pifer placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.155 and 0.161 blood alcohol content.
Officers Pifer, Baber, and Homan were on vessel patrol in the Crab Island area when they stopped a personal watercraft (PWC) in violation of the idle speed zone. During the stop the operator showed signs of impairment. Several empty and unopened cans of beer were on board the vessel and the operator admitted to consuming alcohol. Officer Homan administered standardized field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the sobriety tasks, Officer Homan placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.080 and 0.081 blood alcohol content.
Officers Pifer, Baber, and Homan were on vessel patrol in the Crab Island area when they stopped a vessel which was being operated at night without an all-round white light. During the stop, the operator showed signs of impairment and admitted to consuming alcohol. Officer Pifer administered standardized field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the sobriety tasks, Officer Pifer placed the operator under arrest for BUI. The operator agreed to provide a breath sample and the results were 0.147 and 0.148 blood alcohol content.
Officers Pifer, Baber, and Homan were on vessel patrol in the Crab Island area when they stopped a vessel in violation of the idle speed zone. During the stop, the operator showed signs of impairment, admitted to consuming alcohol, and multiple empty beer bottles were in a cooler on board. Officer Pifer administered standard field sobriety tasks. Based on observations of the vessel in motion, personal contact with the operator, and the operator’s performance on the field sobriety tasks, Officer Pifer placed the operator under arrest for BUI.
Investigator Molnar and Officer Corbin were on vessel patrol at Crab Island when they saw a personal watercraft (PWC) towing a kayak and innertube with people on board not wearing lifejackets (PFD). The vessel was not displaying a boating safety decal. A vessel stop was conducted for a boating safety inspection. Upon pulling alongside the PWC, the operator looked straight ahead and avoided making eye contact with the officers. While conducting the safety inspection, the operator continued to show multiple signs of impairment and consented to field sobriety tasks. After the tasks Investigator Molnar arrested the operator for BUI. The operator provided a breath sample of 0.198 and 0.205 blood alcohol content. The operator was booked into the Okaloosa County Jail for BUI.
Officer Corbin and Investigator Molnar conducted a vessel stop on a personal watercraft (PWC) for violation of idle speed zone at Crab Island. While the operator was searching for the registration certificate, he opened a compartment, placed his hand inside and attempted to conceal the contents. Both officers detected an odor of cannabis coming from the PWC. The operator refused to comply with the officers’ commands to fully open the compartment and remove his hand. He was detained aboard the officers’ vessel and a search of the PWC revealed three cannabis cigarettes. While speaking with the operator, the officers saw his eyes were bloodshot and watery and he smelled of an alcoholic beverage. The operator consented to field sobriety tasks and after the tasks, Officer Corbin arrested the operator for BUI. The operator provided a breath sample of .088 and .087 blood alcohol content. The operator was booked into jail on BUI and possession of cannabis less than 20 grams. He was also issued a citation for violation of idle speed zone.
Officers Pifer and Corbin were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety and resource protection in the Destin area. The officers saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico into the Destin Pass with fishing rods displayed. During the boating safety inspection, the officers determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed that five gray triggerfish were harvested out of season. During the safety inspection and resource inspection, Officer Corbin saw open and unopened beer cans on the boat. The operator admitted to consuming several of the beers. With consent the operator performed field sobriety tasks. The operator had indicators of impairment and was arrested for BUI.
Officer Wilkenson, along with U.S. Coast Guard personnel, was on vessel patrol conducting public safety/boating safety inspections during the Billy Bowlegs event in Santa Rosa Sound. Officer Wilkenson smelled a distinct odor of burnt cannabis emitting from a 48-foot cabin vessel. Using binoculars, Officer Wilkenson saw an individual smoking what appeared to be a cigarette. The officer maneuvered the patrol vessel to contact the individual. The investigation revealed one individual in possession of cannabis. Further, the vessel was federally documented and the owner has owned it for three years and failed to register the boat. The operator/owner was issued a notice to appear citation.
Officer Corbin was on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and resource protection in Destin Pass. The officer saw a vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying rods and reels. During the boating safety stop, the officer determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed that four red snapper, one king mackerel not in whole condition, and several bonita were harvested. The red snapper was harvested out of season. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation for the red snapper violation and a warning for failure to land king mackerel in whole condition.
Officers Jarvis and Maltais were on vessel patrol conducting boating safety inspections and resource protection in Destin Pass. The officers saw an 18-foot vessel returning from the Gulf of Mexico displaying rods and reels. During the safety inspection, Officer Jarvis determined the vessel was returning from a fishing trip. The fisheries inspection revealed that four gray triggerfish were harvested out of season. The operator was issued a notice to appear citation.
SANTA ROSA COUNTY
Officer Jones was on water patrol in Santa Rosa Sound near the Navarre Beach Boat Ramp and noticed a personal watercraft operating on a plane in the idle speed zone. He contacted the vessel operator who showed signs of impairment. Officer Jones asked the operator to perform field sobriety tasks during which he showed signs of impairment. The boater was arrested for BUI and transported to the Santa Rosa County Jail.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Officer Wilcox and Lieutenant Wass de Czege participated in a children’s event at Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center with over 90 youth from the Children’s Home Society. The participants were divided into three groups and rotated between the fishing, archery, and FWC stations. At the FWC station, the officers talked to the children about everything from hunting and boating safety to human/wildlife conflict.
Lieutenant Wass de Czege taught the laws portion of the Safety Course to 34 kids participating at the Beau Turner Youth Conservation Center. The kids were from two groups who attend summer camp programs at the facility.
NORTH CENTRAL REGION
Officer Burnsed was on patrol in a private hunting lease when he heard hunting dogs actively pursuing wildlife. Officer Burnsed located the owner of the dogs, who was monitoring the pursuit. The dogs were found to be running deer during the closed season. It was determined the owner knowingly allowed the dogs to pursue the deer during the closed season. Charges will be filed for the violation.
Officer Fox was conducting vessel safety/resource inspections at the main boat ramp in Cedar Key during opening day of gag grouper season. During one inspection, Officer Fox saw an individual in possession of one out-of-season red snapper and three cobia. The individual claimed the fish as his own. Red snapper season for recreational subjects opens June 11 and the daily bag limit of cobia is one per person, two per vessel, whichever is less. Officer Fox issued the individual a misdemeanor citation for possession of out-of-season red snapper and over the daily bag limit of cobia.
Officer Fox was conducting water patrol near Cedar Key when he saw a commercial offshore-charter boat approach his location. Officer Fox conducted a vessel safety/resource inspection on the vessel. The captain of the vessel informed Officer Fox that he had several species of fish onboard. Officer Fox saw one undersized gag grouper in a fish hold on the vessel. Gag grouper must be a minimum of 24 inches in length to possess. Officer Fox issued the captain a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized gag grouper.
Officer Fox was conducting water patrol by land at the Highway 40 boat ramp in Yankeetown when he saw a vessel returning to the boat ramp with fishing poles displayed. Officer Fox asked the individuals if they had any luck fishing and they informed Officer Fox that they had five black tip sharks onboard. Officer Fox conducted a vessel safety/resource inspection on the vessel and saw the sharks. The vessel limit for black tip sharks is two. Officer Fox also saw that the vessel trailer did not have a license plate attached nor did it have operable lights. Officer Fox issued the captain a misdemeanor citation for over the bag limit of sharks and two written warnings for no trailer tag/lights.
Officers Willis and Hilliard were performing boating safety and resource inspections during a fishing tournament in Cedar Key. During weigh in, the officers noticed an individual with two small spotted sea trout that were not measured prior to being weighed. Officer Willis measured the fish on an agency-provided measuring device as well as on the ruler being used by the tournament to show that the fish measured undersized. Officer Willis issued a misdemeanor notice to appear and a written warning for the violations.
Officers Reith and Stanley received information about an individual who illegally harvested two alligators in Union County. The officers located the suspect and obtained written statements from two witnesses. While conducting interviews, Officer Stanley learned that the alligator meat was also illegally packaged. Several charges were filed through the State Attorney’s office. Charges included failure to properly tag an alligator and failure to properly label meat packages.
Officer Drew was on patrol along the Santa Fe River in Alachua County when he saw an individual fishing near the SR 121 Bridge. Officer Drew watched the individual for several minutes from a concealed location under the bridge. Officer Drew approached the individual to conduct a fisheries inspection and fishing license check. The individual stated he did not have a fishing license. A records check through FWC Dispatch revealed that the individual’s fishing license had been revoked. Officer Drew issued a misdemeanor citation for fishing with a suspended or revoked fishing license and advised the suspect he could not continue to fish.
Lieutenant Wright and Officers Sweat, Stuhr, Mcgregor, Christmas and Shearer worked a BUI detail on the St. Mary’s River in Nassau County. Several contacts were made with 11 citations and 15 warnings issued. As the detail was winding down, a personal water craft approached the boat ramp violating the county idle zone. The female operator was aboard with two children as passengers. At the beginning of the inspection, Officer Sweat detected signs of impairment. After explaining the three violations during the safety inspection, the operator was directed to an area to conduct field sobriety tasks. At the Nassau County Jail she submitted breath samples of 0.098 and 0.095. She was booked the jail for boating under the influence, resisting and battery on law enforcement. She was issued appropriate citations for speed zone and registration violation.
Officers Albritton and Dasher received information of a possible trespass on Four Rivers Timber property. The land manager advised that it appeared a UTV was accessing their property at Blue Springs Lake without authorization and provided security images to the officers. The officers located tire sign and tracked it to a residence. During the investigation they learned who the property owner was and located a male and female who admitted to unlawfully trespassing. Citations were issued.
The Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) 2005 Fincat conducted patrols in federal waters targeting the opening of American red snapper season. During the patrols, numerous vessels were stopped with several violations being documented. During one stop of a vessel with two persons on board, Officer Boyer located eight red snapper in two different coolers (the bag limit is two per person). Each person was issued a citation for possession of over the limit. During another stop, a shrimp vessel was checked for Turtle Excluder Device (TED) compliance. Minor violations were noted and corrected during the inspection.
Officers Canfield and Boyer had just finished washing the OPV 2005 Fincat at the FWC Crystal River Field Office and were about to leave when Officer Canfield saw a vessel approaching the dock. When asked if the man was ok, he stated he was having chest pains and thought he might be having a heart attack. Officers Canfield and Boyer secured the subject’s vessel to the FWC dock and remained with him until EMS could arrive. EMS arrived and transported the subject to the hospital.
While on early morning patrol, Lieutenant Lightsey saw a vessel returning from offshore. After conducting a resource inspection, the men were found to be in possession of three undersized mutton snapper. A citation was issued for the offense.
While on foot patrol of a local causeway, Officer Balgo saw an individual cast netting from shore. The officer approached the subject to conduct a resource inspection. The inspection revealed several undersized sheepshead. The subject was cited accordingly.
While on foot patrol along a local roadway, Officer Balgo saw several individuals along the shore fishing. The officer approached the group to conduct a resource inspection. The inspection revealed a mesh bag containing an undersized black drum. Further inspection of the area resulted in a fillet being found with the skin still attached. The officer identified the fillet as that of a snook. After interviewing the subjects, one man admitted to catching the snook with a cast net. Snook season is currently closed in the Atlantic and the use of cast net to take snook is prohibited. Citations were issued for the take of snook out of season, snook by illegal method, and possession of undersized black drum.
While on foot patrol in Port Canaveral, Officer Balgo saw a vessel returning from offshore. The officer approached and performed a safety and resource inspection on the vessel. The inspection revealed several fillets of cobia and king fish. The operator of the vessel was issued a citation for landing cobia not in whole condition.
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY
While on offshore patrol out of Sebastian Inlet, Officer Dubose saw subjects actively fishing. A resource inspection revealed one undersized mutton snapper. A citation was issued for the offense.
Officer Wester was on patrol at Kenwood Boat Ramp when he conducted a fisheries inspection on a vessel returning to the dock. It was found that one of the subjects on board was is possession of more than one black bass over 16 inches. The subject was cited for the offense.
Officer Bernard conducted a fisheries inspection on a male and female subject at the Palatka City Docks. Neither subject could provide their fishing license, so their names were queried through FWC dispatch. It was found that the female subject had a domestic violence injunction for protection against the male subject. The male subject was taken into custody for violation of the injunction.
Officer West was traveling home in the early morning hours when he saw the pickup truck in front of him swerve several times from his lane. After conducting a traffic stop and speaking with the adult male operator, Officer West detected signs of impairment. After completing standardized field sobriety tasks, Officer West determined the operator’s normal faculties were impaired. He was arrested for driving under the influence and booked into the Volusia County Jail.
While on patrol, Officer Summers noticed several vehicles braking and swerving on the interstate. The officer then noticed an elderly woman in the middle lane with her arms out, facing oncoming traffic. Officer Summers turned on his emergency lights to stop traffic and escorted the woman to the side of the interstate. Brevard County EMS arrived on scene and escorted her to a local hospital for evaluation.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
Officer Wingard responded to a vessel taking on water with occupants in the water in the Daytona Beach area of the Halifax River. Officer Wingard successfully got the occupants and the vessel safely to the shore.
Hillsborough and Pinellas officers under Lieutenant Van Trees conducted a Boating Under the Influence detail in Hillsborough County focusing on the Courtney Campbell Causeway and Beer Can Island. They made four arrests for BUI. One subject refused to give a breath sample, while the other operators gave breath samples of .131, .137, and .093. One vessel had small children on board, which increases the penalty. Officers were also training deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office who were riding along on BUI enforcement. Over the two-day detail, they issued one citation for over the bag limit of shark, one citation to a parent for allowing an 11-year-old to operate a PWC, 22 boating citations and 44 warnings.
Officers Berg and Guerin responded to a distressed family of three on an overturned canoe in Hillsborough River State Park. The officers walked over a mile and a half through rough terrain, and eventually located the canoe with a man, woman and their daughter who were being assisted by good Samaritans. The family was taken to shore by the good Samaritans while Officer Berg got into the partially submerged canoe and bailed the water out. Officer Berg brought the canoe back to shore and returned it to the park staff. The officers then brought the family back to the park where they were assessed and medically cleared by fire rescue.
While on water patrol in south Hillsborough County, Officer Martinez and Officer Wilkins stopped a vessel to conduct a boating safety inspection. While interacting with the operator of the vessel, Officer Martinez saw signs of impairment from the operator and asked him to do seated field sobriety exercises. After the exercises, it was determined the operator of the vessel was impaired and subsequently arrested for boating under the influence. The operator refused to give a sample of his breath for testing and was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.
While on water patrol near downtown Tampa, Officer Wilkins and Officer Martinez stopped a vessel to conduct a boating safety inspection. The operator of the vessel was slurring his words, falling over, and showing other signs of impairment. Officer Wilkins asked the subject if he was willing to do seated field sobriety exercises. The operator became combative, argumentative, and yelling expletives at the officers. Officer Wilkins gave the operator another opportunity to do field sobriety exercises and the subject again refused and threatened to flee by driving the boat away. As the officers attempted to arrest the subject for boating under the influence, the subject refused to comply and began resisting the officers. They subdued the subject and he was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail for boating under the influence, resisting arrest without violence, and refusal to submit to a breathalyzer.
Officer Price and Lieutenant Spoede were working a targeted enforcement of red snapper regulations in federal waters on opening day of the season in the 29’ SAFE boat. One misdemeanor citation was issued to the captain of a vessel in possession of 17 red snapper, five over his allowable bag limit. The fish were seized as evidence. Multiple warnings were issued relating to resource and boating safety violations.
Officer Winton completed an investigation into the destruction of a gopher tortoise burrow. During the investigation it was determined that the construction company had lied about burrows being on the property and one of the burrows had been rendered uninhabitable as a result of the construction. Charges relating to the take of a threatened species burrow were filed with the State Attorney’s Office.
Officer Winton and Lieutenants Spoede and Ruggiero were patrolling offshore at Fort Myers Beach when they stopped a vessel for a safety inspection. During the inspection it was determined that the vessel was a rental and the livery had rented to someone born after January 1, 1988 without a boater safety identification. The officers went to the livery and discovered that the employee giving pre-ride instructions did not have boater safety training, nor was there boater safety information posted on the premises as required by law. The manager was issued three notices to appear for the violations
Officers Dalton and Gonzales were on water patrol around Long Boat Pass near Jew Fish Key. They stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on a vessel that was transiting near the key. While going through the boating safety inspection, it appeared that the operator was under the influence of alcohol. Upon further investigation, the officers determined that the operator was boating under the influence and was arrested and taken to jail.
Officer Bergwerff was on land patrol at Anclote River Park when she saw two PWC operators violating the idle speed zone. She contacted the operators after they returned to the dock, and during her inspection, she noticed indicators of impairment. Officer Bergwerff conducted field sobriety tasks on both operators. She arrested one of the operators after they performed poorly on the tasks. While at the county jail, the subject provided breath samples which measured .116 and .115.
While conducting offshore water patrol, Officer Bibeau saw a fishing vessel displaying a dive flag with a swimmer in the water. The individual was actively spearfishing when Officer Bibeau contacted the vessel. Officer Bibeau conducted a fisheries inspection and located 4 undersized gag grouper and 1 undersized red grouper. The subject admitted to spearing the undersized fish and was cited accordingly.
While on water patrol in south St. Petersburg, Officer Martinez saw a subject violating a slow speed zone and initiated a vessel stop. After contacting the operator, Officer Martinez noticed signs of impairment to include slurred speech, poor balance, and a strong odor of alcohol. The subject was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail for BUI.
Officers Alvis, Smith, Bergwerff, and Fagan, along with Lieutenant Wells, conducted a three-day patrol operation on the Offshore Patrol Vessel Gulf Sentry for the opening of “charter” red snapper. The officers inspected multiple commercial and recreational fishing vessels. One recreational vessel had several red snapper in the cooler on ice during the closed season. A notice to appear was issued to the vessel captain. Another vessel had paying customers aboard along with red snapper. The vessel captain told the officers that he left his federal charter reef fish permit at his residence. After some investigative work the officers discovered that the vessel captain did not have a charter reef fish permit. Federal charges were issued for running a charter without the proper permits and possession of red snapper during the closed season.
Officers Berg and Cason responded to a complaint that there was a group of individuals catching and keeping multiple snook under John’s Pass bridge. Upon arrival, the officers located six individuals fishing in the area and conducted a fisheries inspection. The inspection revealed five snook, four of which were undersized. Two of the subjects admitted to catching the snook after being read their Miranda warning. Both subjects were cited for the following violations; possession of undersized snook, possession of snook over the daily bag limit and possession of snook during closed season.
While conducting offshore water patrol, Officer Bibeau stopped a fishing vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection. He located numerous deep-water grouper and a large swordfish. Officer Bibeau found that no one onboard the vessel had a valid federal HMS permit to harvest and be in possession of a swordfish. After reading the group Miranda Rights and asking a series of questions, the officer was able to identify the individual that caught and harvested the swordfish and they were written a federal citation for failing to obtain a valid HMS permit. The case has been forwarded to the local NOAA office for prosecution.
While conducting offshore water patrol, Officer Bibeau stopped a fishing vessel to conduct a fisheries inspection. Officer Bibeau located 3 undersized red grouper, the largest measuring only 15 inches. The operator of the vessel received a misdemeanor citation for possession of undersized red grouper.
While on water patrol in Tampa Bay, Officers Wilkins and Martinez stopped a vessel that had been spearfishing earlier in the day to conduct a resource inspection. The officers found two undersized gag grouper, one undersized scamp grouper, and one undersized hogfish. The two subjects were issued numerous misdemeanor citations and warnings for their violations.
Officer Phillippi and Officer Ferguson received a complaint about a subject keeping undersized fish near the Dunedin Causeway. The officers arrived, found the subject in question and conducted a resource inspection. Officer Phillippi found numerous undersized sheepshead. The subject was issued a misdemeanor citation for the violation.
Officer Gonzales was on water patrol in the area of Venice Inlet when he stopped and performed a boating safety inspection on an individual operating a jet ski with no life jacket. While going through the boating safety inspection, it appeared to the officer that the operator was under influence of alcohol. After investigating further, Officer Gonzales arrested the operator and he was taken to jail for boating under the influence.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Lieutenant Parisoe conducted an outreach at a local FYCCN sponsored fishing camp. He provided instruction on boating safety requirements and answered general questions related to rules and regulations. There were 17 youth that attended the presentation.
Officers Price and Collazo conducted education seminars to educate individuals about hunting laws and seasons. The officers gave dozens of people the opportunity to speak with them and learn more about local Wildlife Management Area regulations.
DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROLS
Officers Collazo, Garcia, Gray, Furbay, Perry, Price, Salem and Stapleton worked speed enforcement in Lee County Panther Zones. During the detail, 27 warnings, 2 misdemeanors and 7 Infractions were issued. The fastest speed recorded was 99 MPH in 45 MPH.
SOUTH REGION A
Officer Brodbeck was on patrol at the Moore Haven Locks and saw a group of five individuals fishing. Only one person had a valid fishing license. To issue warnings to the other individuals, the officer asked for their driver’s licenses for identification. Three subjects did not have a valid driver’s license. After running their information through law enforcement databases, it was confirmed that they did not possess valid driver’s licenses. Officer Brodbeck issued warnings for fishing without a valid freshwater license. While still in his marked patrol truck, two of the individuals without a driver’s license got into a car and drove away. Officer Brodbeck initiated a traffic stop and issued the driver a criminal citation for driving without a license.
Officers Keen and Brodbeck were on vessel patrol in Ft. Myers. While in a slow speed zone, the officers saw a vessel with three occupants and fishing rods in plain view speed by their marked patrol vessel. A vessel stop was conducted to address the violation. During a boating safety and resource inspection, multiple signs of impairment was displayed by the operator of the vessel. The operator agreed to perform seated field sobriety tasks. After the tasks were completed the operator was placed under arrest for boating under the influence (BUI). At the Lee County Jail, 2.5 hours after the arrest, the operator provided a breath sample of 0.11 BrAC. The operator of the vessel was issued a criminal boating citation for BUI with a BrAC of 0.08 or higher.
Lieutenant Steelman, along with Officers Keen and Brodbeck conducted targeted enforcement on the Caloosahatchee River focusing on boating safety violations. While performing over 100 vessel stops, 20 boating citations and warnings were issued for no PFD’s, insufficient PFD’s, child under 6 not in a PFD, vessel safety equipment, and careless operation.
Investigator Alford and Officer Krasco investigated a captive wildlife incident at the Home Depot store. After the investigation, it was determined that the owner of a spider monkey had failed to control her pet monkey in a manner to protect the public from physical contact that resulted in injury. The owner of the spider monkey was issued two criminal citations related to the possession of captive wildlife and public contact.
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Officer Boyd received a report of multiple subjects illegally feeding raccoons near a neighborhood in Boca Raton. The concentration of raccoons in that area were multiplying due to the illegal feeding activity and were becoming a nuisance to the area and a hazard on the roadway where they were being fed. Officer Boyd conducted surveillance and witnessed two subjects feeding raccoons by hand. Both subjects had previously been warned that feeding raccoons is illegal in the state of Florida and they were each given a citation for the offense.
MAJOR WILDLIFE ASSISTANCE
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Officer Schroer and Officer Boyd responded to a caller advising that she had caught a three-foot alligator she had found injured on the road. The caller said she wanted the alligator to be taken to a rehabilitation center for treatment. Officer Boyd retrieved the alligator from her and informed the woman that it is illegal to possess an American Alligator unless you have a permit. He further advised that if a similar situation occurs in the future, she should contact FWC at 888-404-FWCC (3922) for assistance and not touch the alligator. The alligator was taken to a local animal rehabilitation center and treated for its injuries.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
PALM BEACH COUNTY
Lieutenant Hayes, Investigator Phillips, Officers Morrow, Rogers, Spradling, Kirkland, and Merizio responded to the JW Corbett WMA, about a possible suicidal subject. Officers attempted to locate the subject while FWC communications personnel conducted a GPS ping of the subject’s phone location. After locating the phone, it was determined that the subject was at a nearby community. The subject was located and determined to be in good health by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
SOUTH REGION B
MIAMI DADE COUNTY
Officer Fernandez and Officer Camejo were on land patrol in Miami Dade County in the area of Loop Road within the Big Cypress Wildlife Management Area(WMA). They saw a subject fishing along the north side of the road about a 1/4 mile east of the county line boat ramp. When asked, the defendant denied having a fishing license and claimed a bucket full of fish nearby. Upon inspecting the bucket, Officer Lopez discovered 9 largemouth black bass to which the defendant claimed possession. He was cited for possession over the bag limit on largemouth black bass, and for fishing without a valid freshwater fishing license.
Officer Cartaya was working a detail at Oleta State Park when he saw a vehicle with a driver that was not wearing his seat belt. He stopped the vehicle and asked the driver for his driver license. The subject was not able to produce a valid Florida driver license or a valid Florida ID. After a check through DHSMV for a driver’s license, the officer discovered the driver never obtained one. The subject was cited for no driver’s license.
Officers Cobb, Mobley and Piekenbrock responded to an overdue vessel call near Marathon. The officers were on the way back to the dock when they saw a vessel operating with no navigational lights displayed. The vessel was stopped for a safety inspection. During the inspection they saw signs of impairment from the operator. After conducting a BUI investigation, the operator was arrested for BUI and transported to the Stock Island Jail.
Officer Maldanado was on water patrol near the Carysfort Reef Sanctuary Protection Area when he conducted a resource inspection on a boat with three persons on board. There was a total of four hogfish on the boat between two subjects. The bag limit in Monroe County is one hogfish per person. There were also several undersized snapper including yellowtail, schoolmaster, and mangrove. One of the harvesters did not have a valid saltwater fishing license. They were cited accordingly for the fishing violations and were issued written warnings for fishing and spearfishing in a national marine sanctuary protection area.
Officer Plussa was conducting water patrol near the four-way intersection of Gordon Pass, Naples Bay, Dollar Bay, and Hamilton Harbor channels. He saw a rental vessel exit the channel into the slow speed manatee zone, pass dangerously close to a very large commercial tour vessel, and proceed through the marine intersection at a dangerously high rate of speed with an obstructed view and in disregard for vessel traffic. Officer Plussa stopped the vessel for the multiple violations. During the investigation, the subject lied about his age and attempted to mislead Officer Plussa. He was arrested for boating under the influence as the result of the investigation. He was cited for BUI, refusal to submit to breath test, three navigation rule violations, two restricted area/manatee zone violations, and careless operation of a vessel.
COMMUNITY ORIENTED POLICING
Officer Plussa participated in the Collier County Sherriff’s Office Summer “Junior Deputy” Camp. Approximately 150 elementary and 25 middle school age students were taught about local wildlife and had the opportunity to interact with “Junior,” a three-foot American alligator. FWC Panther Outreach Specialist Johnson presented information about panthers and shared a life-sized “replica panther” with the students.
Officer Dube gave a FWC presentation at the USCG Station Islamorada for a group of high school seniors from a high school in Dade County. After Coast Guard officers gave the students a tour of the station and a short presentation, Officer Dube talked about the role of a FWC officer and the agency’s priorities as well as the close relationships the FWC has with our law enforcement partners. Officer Dube also let them come aboard his FWC Vessel and see all the patrol vessels features. The students were treated to a luncheon after the presentations.
Officer Dube was the guest host on a local radio show at an Islamorada restaurant. Officer Dube explained ways to keep your family safe before you leave the dock, such as check the safety gear, weather report and a designate a driver if there is alcohol consumption aboard the vessel.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
Officer Mobley was off-duty at Faro Blanco Resort in Marathonwith friends when she heard loud screaming “Help” coming from the pool area. She turned around and saw a female with a small child in her arms shaking him. She sprinted over to assist. Once alongside the child who was blue, an off-duty doctor and Officer Mobley started CPR. The doctor and Officer Mobley continued two-man CPR as they supported the child’s head and maintained the airway. After approximately 2-3 minutes of compressions the child started coughing up water. They checked for a pulse and continued with CPR efforts. The child began to cough up more water and cry and breathe on his own. The child was handed over to awaiting EMS and transported to a local hospital before being airlifted to Miami’s Jack Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. The young girl who found the child at the bottom of the pool estimated he was down for approximately forty-five seconds to a minute.
Officer Carroll and Lieutenant Payne responded to a kayaker in distress who was having a diabetic episode in an unknown location somewhere in the mangroves and creeks off Curry Hammock State Park. Both officers boarded kayaks and searched for the subject. Approximately an hour later, the subject was spotted by Officer Carroll at the end of the creek on a mud flat. MCSO responded by land and got him to EMS where he was treated without further issue.
A single vessel accident occurred in John Pennekamp State Park waters when a PWC was following a larger vessel whose wake pushed the PWC into the mangroves of South Sound Creek. The single occupant of the PWC suffered a dislocated left shoulder and lacerations to his right bicep and little finger. The victim was taken to shore by Officer McKay where EMS transported the victim to a nearby hospital for treatment. His PWC was towed back to his residence by another family member.
Officers Kleis and Arbogast responded to a marine emergency response team call regarding a group of approximately 20 people that became stranded due to the extreme low tide late at night. The callers were concerned for the safety of a pregnant female who was on board. There were also small children in the group. The tide would not allow the vessel off the beach until early the next morning. FWC officers were first on scene. Marco Island Police, Collier County Sheriff’s Office Aviation unit, and Fire Rescue also responded. The caller’s vessel was approximately 400 yards from the water. Officers pulled in as far as possible and the group walked out to the patrol boats. The FWC officers assisted the pregnant female, 5 small children (approximately 2-5 years old), and 3 other adults on board the FWC patrol vessel. Marco Island PD transported an additional 6 people. The officers transported the group back to land where they could make it home. Three adults from the group stayed with the vessel until the tide was high enough the next morning to get it removed from the beach.
DIRECTED CONSERVATION PATROL
Lieutenant Mahoney, along with Officers Plussa and Yurewitch conducted focused state park patrol on Father’s Day weekend in Delnor Wiggins Pass State Park. Numerous warnings and citations were issued for failure to follow park staff instruction, unlawful speed, alcohol, after-hours, closed area, traffic safety, and other park rule violations.