FWC Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Highlights For Cases In Brevard County
By Space Coast Daily // October 12, 2023
FWC OFFICERS NAIL POACHERS
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – The following report highlights some cases the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission handled in Brevard County over the past week but does not include all actions taken by the Division of Law Enforcement.
■ Officer Navarino was on patrol in the Upper St. Johns River Marsh Wildlife Management Area when he encountered two individuals. Officer Navarino observed one individual quickly walking away from the wood line and back to his friend who was sitting at a picnic table. Officer Navarino noticed a rifle between the two subjects and conducted a resource inspection. They stated they were not hunting and the gun was for self-defense. Officer Navarino searched the area where he observed the individual walking away from. He located an eastern diamondback rattlesnake alive inside a small black carrier. The individuals were cited accordingly.
■ Officer Specialist Balgo and Officer Osborn were patrolling near State Road 520 and the Banana River when they observed a light in the water. The officers located an individual spearfishing the rocks along the shoreline. A resource inspection revealed the individual had harvested several undersized sheepshead. The individual was cited accordingly.
■ Officer Specialist Balgo and Officer Osborn observed a light in the water near State Road 528 and the Banana River. The officers observed two individuals exit the water and walk under the causeway. A resource inspection was conducted, and one individual had a dive mask and a speargun. Further inspection located six undersized sheepshead, five of which were harvested by the speargun. The individual was cited accordingly.
■ Officer Specialist Balgo and Officer Osborn observed a vessel return to Port Canaveral with several scales. While inspecting the vessel, the officers located approximately 200 mullet inside coolers and buckets. The individuals had several prior violations with FWC. They were cited accordingly for possession of over the bag limit of mullet.
■ Officer Specialist Balgo and Officer Osborn observed a vehicle trespassing on a closed road without lights on the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. A traffic stop was initiated. A total of five individuals were inside the vehicle and were in possession of illegally harvested saw palmetto berries from the refuge. Officer Specialist Rasey and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Officer Hamilton assisted the officers and located over 300 pounds of saw palmetto berries illegally harvested from the refuge. The individuals were cited accordingly.
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