FWC Division of Law Enforcement Weekly Report August 25 through August 31

September 6, 2017

Escambia County

Environmental Investigator Hughes was contacted by a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Manager and a Solid Waste Compliance Inspector to discuss a complaint involving ads placed online advertising clean fill materials that could be deposited on-site free of charge. An additional ad advertised the disposal of yard trash debris onsite for $20 per ton. The location of the complaint was determined to be private property in Escambia County. Investigator Hughes was informed the site location was not permitted by DEP to receive solid waste materials. During a two-week period, crew members of the commercial land clearing / tree trimming company disposed approximately 11 truckloads of yard trash debris and 3 loads of mulch from various job sites at the unpermitted facility. Investigator Hughes issued the property owner a written warning and a manager of the commercial land clearing / trimming company a notice to appear citation for disposing solid waste at an unpermitted facility.

Lieutenant Hahr was on foot patrol in the Perdido River Wildlife Management Area when he saw two men and a woman who appeared to be smoking cannabis. When he met them in the parking area, he smelled the odor of cannabis and addressed the group. One of the subjects attempted to discard a bundle of cannabis and methamphetamine. The man was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of not more than 20 grams of cannabis, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Okaloosa County

Investigator Molnar observed an individual walking down the road dressed in a wet suit, carrying dive gear, a spear gun, a red drum and several gray (mangrove) snapper. Upon contacting the individual, he stated he speared the red drum and was aware it was a violation. When asked, the subject did not have any identification on him but gave a name and date of birth. Through law enforcement databases, Investigator Molnar determined the subject gave a false name and positively identified the subject. The subject was arrested and booked into Okaloosa County Jail for giving false name to law enforcement and spearing red drum. The subject, post Miranda, stated he gave a false name because he did not want a citation issued.

Investigator Molnar concluded a single vessel boating accident investigation involving property damage that occurred in March 2017. An arrest warrant was issued for the operator for BUI resulting in property damage. The subject was also issued two infraction citations for violation of U.S. Coast Guard Navigational Rules related to improper lookout and safe speed.

Officer Wilkenson and Lieutenant Clark responded to a boating accident that occurred just offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Two personal watercraft (PWC) were operating just outside the East Pass. One of the operators jumped a wave and upon landing was ejected off the PWC. The other operator went to the fallen individual to check on his welfare and to provide assistance. As the operator was maneuvering the PWC to the fallen swimmer, the PWC struck the individual. One individual with injuries was transported to a local hospital in Fort Walton Beach.

Officer Wilkenson was on land patrol conducting state resource protection when he observed an individual he recognized as having a felony warrant out of Okaloosa County. The individual was charged by Investigator Hughes for felony littering related to dumping a floating structure on private land/state waters. The individual was arrested under the warrant and transported to the Okaloosa County Jail.

Officer Jarvis responded to a boat fire in the Choctawhatchee Bay near Crab Island. A 35-foot “go-fast” boat was heading to Crab Island when smoke started coming out of the engine compartment. The operator had his two passengers put on life jackets and move to the front of the boat away from the fire. A Good Samaritan on a nearby boat saw the smoke coming from the boat and went over to help. All three passengers safely boarded the Good Samaritan’s boat away from the fire. The “go-fast” boat was quickly engulfed in flames and drifted to the shoreline about one quarter mile west of U.S. Coast Guard Station Destin. The Destin Fire Rescue boat and Niceville Fire Rescue boat worked together to fully extinguish the fire. The owner had the boat removed from the water the same day.

Officer Wilkenson received information from the U.S. Coast Guard Destin (USCG) that three intoxicated individuals were boarding a pontoon boat at Crab Island. Officer Wilkenson went by land to the USCG station and accompanied Coast Guard personnel 3 in response to the complaint. The officers located the pontoon and conducted a boating safety inspection. During the safety inspection, the operator showed signs of impairment and agreed to perform field sobriety tasks (FST) for Officer Wilkenson. The operator showed strong indicators of impairment from FSTs performed and was arrested for BUI. The operator refused to provide a breath sample and was transported to the Okaloosa County Jail where the intake process was completed.

Lieutenant Clark contacted Environmental Investigator Hughes regarding a working barge previously used for advertisement located at the base of the Shalimar Bridge in Niceville. The working barge was described as dilapidated and grounded on private property. Officer Wilkenson and Investigator Hughes conducted a site inspection of the working barge and found the barge to be aground and partially in the water. A warrant was issued for the arrest of the barge owner for felony commercial dumping.

Santa Rosa County

Captive Wildlife Investigator Nelson charged an individual for unlawful possession of a Class II serval without a permit and the unlawful importation of the serval into the state.


Officer Lewis responded to a complaint that a couple were smoking marijuana at a popular swimming area in the Blackwater State Forest. When he arrived, he spotted the couple in the parking area. After smelling the odor of cannabis, he found both to be in possession of cannabis and paraphernalia. Both were given notices to appear for the violations.

Walton County

Lieutenant Hollinhead and Officer White identified multiple vessels in the Hogtown Bayou area that are in derelict condition. Information from the vessels was documented to locate the owners. Lieutenant Hollinhead located one of the owners of a vessel that is partially submerged. The owner was charged with leaving a derelict vessel on state waters. The owner received a warning previously for leaving his vessel in derelict condition upon the waters of the state and still had not removed the vessel.

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