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That ain’t smart

Officer David Burnsed and Taylor Tison received a phone call from Lt. Pam Steelman regarding a subject suspected of possessing a fawn deer. The information stated that the subject was keeping it as a pet in a hog trailer. Officers Burnsed and Taylor knocked on the door residence and identified themselves. A male subject opened the door for them. He and his roommate were asked to step outside. The officers could detect the strong smell of burnt cannabis. Officer Burnsed advised them of their current situation. Both subjects agreed to cooperate and show the officer’s the rest of their cannabis and paraphernalia. The officers observed the house interior to be “smoked over.” Officers Jon Greene and Justin Miller arrived to assist. The subjects advised that they had just arrived home and decided to smoke some marijuana while watching TV. Tison charged the roommate for possession of cannabis less than 20 grams, and possession of drug paraphernalia. The property owner was charged for possession of wildlife without a permit, possession of cannabis less than 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a gopher tortoise. The fawn was taken to Arnold’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

Officers Josh Peters, Olly Adams, John Conlin, and Bryan Fugate arrested a Key West man for fleeing and eluding, tampering with evidence, possession of 133 wrung lobster tails, 101 of which were undersized. When the officers first initiated the vessel stop, the subject refused to stop, recklessly maneuvered the vessel, and left the helm to dump two four- gallon buckets of lobster tails overboard. During incident, the subject struck another vessel. The vessel was seized and the investigation continues.

October 5 – 11, 2012  
Over the summer, RPS Officer Todd Hoyle placed a game camera on a closed road in Osceola WMA that led to an area baited with ears of whole corn. The camera recorded several instances of a vehicle driving down the closed road toward the corn, but the license plate was not legible in the recording. Later, Hoyle received a complaint of a deer stand with corn around it in another part of Osceola WMA and noticed the same vehicle parked on the road leading into the baited stand. After some investigation, the driver of the vehicle was apprehended standing in the corn around the stand. He subsequently admitted to placing the bait at both stands, including the events of the previous summer. The subject was cited for two counts of placing bait in a WMA and one count of driving on a closed road.

Lt. Roy Williams received information from a complainant who had heard several shots coming from an adjacent property where he was hunting. Williams observed a truck leaving the property with two subjects wearing camouflage. Upon contact, he observed a small deer with multiple wounds in the bed of the truck. Through interviews and investigation, Williams obtained a written confession from the driver admitting that he had killed the deer with his rifle and then shot it with an arrow to make it appear as if he took it with his bow. The hunter was issued a citation for taking deer unlawfully with a firearm during the archery season. The deer was seized as evidence.

Officer Rodney Boone followed up on some information he had been working for over a month in reference to deer that were taken out of season. Boone made contact with the subject at his residence. During the interview, the subject admitted to killing two does and one 10-point buck during the month of August with a .22 caliber rifle. The deer were taken while the subject was road hunting in Lafayette County. The subject wrote a sworn statement admitting to taking the deer out of season. Boone seized the .22 caliber rifle, the deer meat and antlers (in velvet) as evidence. Boone will be filing charges on the subject through the Lafayette County State Attorney’s Office for taking deer during the closed season.

Officer Clay Huff discovered a recently-plowed field in Madison County. In the middle of the field were two rows that were left undisturbed with wheat seeds broadcast throughout the area. There also was an active game feeder broadcasting corn on the ground on the north edge of the field. The next day, Huff observed three hunters enter the field and begin shooting doves. After approximately an hour, Huff made contact, and all three subjects admitted they knew the field had been baited before being issued citations for taking dove over a baited area.

Lt. Jonathan Ruggiero and RPS Officer Justin Koble were watching two subjects who were wade fishing. After several minutes, the individuals walked past the officers, who were concealed, carrying two large stringers of fish. The officers followed the subjects as they continued to fish, but because of inclement weather, the officers decided to conduct a fisheries inspection. As they approached the subjects, one of them immediately ran from the water to the nearby woods. The officers quickly detained the remaining subject, and proceeded to locate the other individual. The officers were able to identify the individual and determine he previously had been arrested multiple times by FWC officers for fishing violations. An inspection of the stringers of fish revealed an oversized redfish, four undersized snook, three trout over 20 inches in length, and an undersized trout that was being used for bait. The officers determined the individual who had been detained had an active warrant and was arrested for the warrant, as well as for seven resource-related misdemeanors. An arrest warrant has since been issued for the fleeing subject.

Lt. Grant Burton and Officers Will Freemon, Bill Holcomb, and Tim Hinds were working a detail in the Tampa Bay area targeting illegal fishermen. Officers Holcomb and Hinds located a truck attached to an empty boat trailer, believed to belong to commercial fishermen. After a short surveillance, the officers observed a vessel returning to their location, and watched as the vehicle with the trailer backed towards the water’s edge. The officers were unable to check the subjects at the ramp due to them immediately loading their vessel, which raised the officers’ suspicion, but were able to stop the truck shortly thereafter. A resource inspection revealed over 500 pounds of pompano and approximately 400 yards of monofilament entanglement net. The fishermen are only allowed to possess 100 individual pompano while in possession of a gill net in this area. The three subjects possessed 547 individual pompano and were arrested for simultaneous possession of pompano and gill net. In addition, one of the individuals had an active warrant for violation of probation. Approximately 400 yards of gill net and the fish were seized. The fish were sold to a local wholesale dealer and the check placed in escrow pending the outcome of the case. Additional charges are pending.

FWC Inv.s and officers responded to a report of a woman being treated for minor injuries at Martin Memorial Hospital. The woman stated she was walking near a wooded area in the vicinity of CR 714 and 35th Street in Palm City when a tufted eared marmoset jumped on her and caused the injuries. The victim also stated she was eating a candy bar at the time of the incident. A cursory inspection/search was performed and area residents were interviewed regarding the possible presence of a marmoset in the area. The search included the use of Officer Cris Douglas/K9 Boone, Officer Caitlyn Staskiewicz/K9 Zeus, and Martin County Animal Control Officers. During the search no marmoset was located; however, numerous grey squirrels were observed and area residents reported numerous raccoons are in the area. The investigation is ongoing and is assigned to Inv. Jon Garzaniti.