NEWS: General News

FWC - Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report September 29, 2017 through October 5, 2017

October 12th, 2017 | last Update: 4 months ago

posted by: Nan Thompson

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




Officers Brady and Rice were conducting offshore patrols in federal waters near the Madison Swanson when they observed a vessel actively fishing in the closed area. The officers conducted an inspection of the vessel and issued the operator of the vessel a federal citation for the violation.

Officers Brady and Rice were conducting offshore patrols in federal waters when they conducted an inspection of a vessel that was actively fishing. During the inspection, the officers discovered the vessel was in possession of greater amberjack during closed season and in other than whole condition.


Officers Alsobrooks and Hayes received information about a suspect who killed an eight-point buck in violation of deer depredation permit rules. The officers located the suspect and conducted an interview. The officers found that the deer had been killed and removed from the property without being tagged. The officers seized the deer and a bow. The suspect was charged with violation of deer depredation permit rules.

Officer Forehand was on water patrol on the Apalachicola River when he saw a small boat occupied by three subjects. He noticed there were no fishing poles on board the boat. As surveillance was being conducted, one of the occupants placed electrical wires into the water and it was determined the suspects were using an electric shocking device to take fish. The vessel was stopped and the shocking device was seized. The three suspects were cited with taking fish by an illegal method.

Officers Fletcher, Burkhead and Hayes responded to the Apalachicola River near the Jim Woodruff Dam about a complaint that three suspects were using a net to take freshwater fish. When the officers arrived, they saw the three suspects placing a seine net into their vehicle. The officers stopped the suspects and found they had taken 59 panfish, seven black bass and three striped bass. All three suspects were charged with taking freshwater game fish by an illegal method.


While patrolling the Apalachicola National Forest several weeks prior to the opening of archery season, Officers Raker and Nelson observed a vehicle parked in a manner that suggested its owner was hunting nearby. After some time, the officers decided to try to locate the individual. The officers followed foot signs from the vehicle and then along a fire break and located a hunting stand, but no individuals. While searching the area, the officers located the individual's bow, a bloody arrow, and eventually the owner of the vehicle. The individual was dressed in camouflage clothing and when interviewed, he told the officers he shot a buck and was searching for the deer. The individual was also found to be in possession of marijuana. The individual was cited for hunting out of season and possession of marijuana.


Officers Corbin and Pifer were conducting water patrol during the late night/early morning hours when they made the following cases. The officers stopped a vessel in the Destin Pass with one individual on board returning from a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico. During a fisheries/license inspection, the individual was found to be in possession of 15 dolphin fish, five over the limit. Officer Corbin issued the individual a citation for the violation. The officers conducted a fisheries/license inspection of two individuals leaving the Destin east jetties and found one of the individuals to be in possession of an oversized redfish. Officer Pifer issued the individual a citation for the violation. The officers stopped a vessel in the Santa Rosa sound which did not have the required navigational lights displayed. During the stop, the officers learned the individual on board purchased the vessel three months prior and failed to transfer the title into his name. Officer Corbin issued the individual a citation for the violation.

Investigator Molnar and Officer Pifer were on routine land patrol when they observed two individuals fishing at a local park. During a fisheries/license inspection, it was determined that one of the individuals harvested an undersized redfish. Officer Pifer issued the individual a citation for the violation.

Officers Maltais and Nichols responded to several complaints of bears getting into garbage in the Casa Loma community. The officers contacted five homeowners whose garbage cans were targeted and knocked over with household garbage bags pulled out and torn, with contents spread out. The homeowners were given bear informational brochures explaining the importance of securing their garbage cans. The homeowners were issued non-compliance notification letters.

While on land patrol, Officer Trueblood received a tip called in to Wildlife Alert about individuals keeping undersized pompano. Upon arrival to the reported location, he observed several men, women and children fishing from the beach in Destin. After observing the individuals fish and place fish into a nearby cooler, the officer proceeded down to the beach and conducted a resource inspection. A number of unregulated fish were observed and five undersized pompano. Only one person within the group had a valid license. Officer Jarvis arrived on scene to assist. The officers addressed the undersized pompano and fishing license violations with the appropriate action. The illegal fish were documented as evidence.


Officer Lewis was patrolling in Milton when he observed a truck being driven erratically. He turned around as it went out of sight behind him, but by the time he caught up to the vehicle, the driver had crashed into a tree and fled the scene on foot. After calling in the registration, he determined that the driver had an outstanding warrant. Several other officers arrived to assist as well as the Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Corrections and Florida Highway Patrol. FWC Pilot Tolbert assisted at the scene with a helicopter. After several hours, the suspect was spotted by a resident and was soon apprehended. He was arrested on outstanding warrants and additional charges will be filed by other agencies.


Officer Travis saw a subject on Facebook posting photos of taking deer by illegal method: using a rifle and suppressor. After three days of monitoring by officers, the subject returned to his residence with a car and immediately left with a truck and flatbed trailer. Officers followed the subject and later observed a deer in the trailer being pulled back to the subject’s residence. A traffic stop was made and through observations and interviews they proved the deer had been shot in the head with a firearm. The subject admitted to killing the deer with a .22 rifle and suppressor. The suppressor permit was in the name of the subject’s wife. Officer Travis issued a citation to the subject for taking deer by illegal method. Division of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms has become involved regarding the suppressor permit.


While Investigator Molnar and Officer Pifer were checking fishermen at a park at Santa Rosa Beach, they approached a couple sitting inside their vehicle. The female was crying and acting erratically. Concerned for the female, the officers contacted the driver. The driver stated the vehicle belonged to him and gave consent for Investigator Molnar to search it. A baggie of methamphetamine and a syringe was found in the center console. Both subjects claimed ownership of the contraband. They were both arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. The female was additionally charged with resisting without violence.

Officer Jarvis and Lieutenant Clark responded to two different complaints of a bear in garbage in the Forest Lake community off Highway 30A. Contact was made with both homeowners. The community was recently canvassed providing informational brochures regarding securing food attractants, including garbage cans. Both homeowners were issued non-compliance notification letters.


Lieutenant Allen attended Tyndall Air Force Base “National Night Out.” There were approximately 400 people in attendance. During the event, he talked about black bear issues on base and hunting and fishing regulations.



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