Saturday, December 4, 2021

FWC Law Enforcement Cases



Officer Kleis initiated a derelict vessel investigation and, with the assistance of Officers Johnson and White, the owner was located and notified of the vessel’s condition. The officers gave the owner an ample amount of time to either improve the vessel’s condition or remove it from state waters. After a few weeks had passed and no effort was made to improve the condition of the vessel, Officer Kleis issued him a citation for having a derelict vessel on the waters of the state. Vessel removal is pending.

Officer Kleis was on land-based water patrol in Everglades City when he observed two individuals fishing under a bridge. As the individuals appeared to be preparing to leave the area, Officer Kleis made contact with them to perform a resource and fishing license inspection. The individuals appeared nervous, said that they had not caught anything and did not have fishing licenses. One of the individuals provided Officer Kleis with a driver license, while the other provided a name and date of birth. A search of the name and date of birth provided did not match the individual. Further investigation revealed that the individual provided his brother’s name because he thought he had an outstanding warrant. The odor of marijuana was present on both individuals and around their vehicle. Officer Lugg arrived on the scene to assist and a search revealed a bag of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, a pill bottle of hydrocodone and oil-based tetrahydrocannabinol (TCH). Both individuals were placed under arrest and transported to the Collier County Jail for providing a false name to a law enforcement officer, possession of marijuana under 20 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription (hydrocodone), and possession of a controlled substance (THC). Warnings were issued for fishing without a license.

One evening, Officer Arbogast observed a vehicle parked alongside of US 41 with two occupants and fishing rods. Officer Arbogast decided to do a routine fisheries inspection and license check. The driver was still sitting inside the car when he approached, and while talking to the driver, a strong odor of cannabis was emanating from inside of the vehicle. When asked if there was any cannabis inside of the car, the driver said, “There was previously, but not anymore.”  Officer Arbogast had the driver step outside of the vehicle and when he stood up, he revealed a plastic bag containing cannabis. Officer Arbogast again asked if there was anything else in the car. The driver again said, “No.”  With further investigation, there was a larger bag of cannabis stuck in between the center console and the driver’s seat. The driver was issued a notice to appear and charged with possession of cannabis under 20 grams.


Lieutenants Bulger and Shea attended a meeting of the Naples/Ft Myers Chapter of the Safari Club International (SCI) at the Naples Zoo. At the meeting, SCI presented FWC with a new trailer dedicated to the FWC Youth Hunting Program. The trailer will be used to promote and educate the public about the Youth Hunting Program.

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