As the fight to stop illegal harvesting of saw palmetto berries in Florida ensues, a couple of recurring offenders were arrested in Brevard County recently, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's most recent report for Sept. 8-14.
The report noted that the arrest occured after Officer Specialist Balgo observed two individuals along State Road A1A with equipment commonly used to harvest saw palmetto berries.
When the officer attempted to approach them, the individuals fled, but after a thorough search of the vicinity the officer eventually found the two individuals along with two substantial bags filled with unlawfully harvested saw palmetto berries.
According to the report, these individuals had received multiple citations for similar violations in the past. Consequently, they were apprehended and taken to the Brevard County Jail for booking.
This is only one of many illegal harvesting incidents reported throughout Florida just this year. Even picking these berries on your own private land is illegal under Florida Statute 581.185 (d) and harvesting these olive-looking fruits can cost several hundreds in fines as well as putting the harvester at risk of arrest and prosecution of a First-Degree Misdemeanor.
More information about why saw palmetto berries are illegal to harvest can be found in our previous post here.