The week of June 2 through June 8, 2023, appears to have been busy for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). A report from the Division of Law Enforcement reveals a multitude of actions taken by on-duty officers, including the rescue of stranded boaters and a meth bust, among other cases.
In Santa Rosa County on Memorial Day, Officers Burkhead and Roberson were patrolling Blackwater Wildlife Management Area when they noticed a truck parked with a male and female sitting on a closed road within the management area. Officers found the vehicle's registered owner to be on probation for a number of drug offenses, and that the female appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance.
After gaining consent to search the vehicle, a large bag of a white crystal substance, as well as a glass smoking device, was found under the seat. The male immediately admitted to the substance being his. Further investigation resulted in a positive test for methamphetamine, the amount of which was over 14 grams in weight.
Officers arrested the male subject for possession of methamphetamine, trafficking of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, as well as violation of probation. He was transported and booked into the Santa Rosa County Jail.
Traveling Eastward to Duval County, Senior Officer Stuhr, and Officer McGregor conducted a search and rescue mission for an overturned vessel with multiple people on the St. Johns River near the Buckman Bridge. Stuhr was able to locate the overturned vessel with three people stranded in the water.
Thankfully, all three people were wearing life jackets and were rescued and transported, along with the vessel, to Goodby's Creek Boat Ramp by both Officer Stuhr and McGregor without further incident.
Senior Officer Gill and his trusty K-9 sidekick, Camo, were called in by the Alachua Police Department to assist in the location of a firearm that was used in an armed robbery in Alachua County. K-9 Camo searched the median of U.S. 441 for approximately 30 minutes before locating the firearm suspected in the robbery.
The weapon search for the armed robbery wasn't the only time K-9 Camo was called to the scene.
Officer Gill and K-9 Camo also assisted in the location of another firearm in Bradford County that had been thrown out of a vehicle during a police pursuit. K-9 Camo located a 9mm pistol with its magazine missing along the shoulder of U.S. 301. Deputies had located the missing magazine prior to Camo's arrival.
Several boaters were arrested for boating under the influence, with 3 cases in Clay County, and two in Palm Beach. Multiple citations for exceeding bag limits were also issued, with two cases in The Gulf of Mexico over Memorial Day weekend resulting in a total of 28 citations each.
The above are just a handful of the actions taken by FWC officers state-wide. You can read the entirety of the June 2 through June 8, 2023 Weekly Division of Law Enforcement Report below:
St. Johns County
Palm Beach County
Article by Rachael Volpe