Between Sept. 6 and 19, officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission handled several instances in Franklin County in which too much alcohol had been consumed.
Officer Gore was en route to vessel patrol when he came up behind a vehicle stopped at a stop sign in Apalachicola. The vehicle did not move, staying there for an extended period of time, and the officer determined the driver appeared to be passed out, slumped over the steering wheel. The driver attempted to drive off and attempted to make a U-turn in the road.
Gore stopped the vehicle and detected a strong odor of alcoholic beverage. During the stop, the driver became combative and belligerent and Gore requested assistance. Lt. Calianno and Capt. Kelly responded and assisted with control of the scene. The driver performed poorly on field sobriety tasks and was arrested for DUI and booked into the Franklin County Jail. The driver also did not have a driver license due to a prior DUI arrest.
Gore was working in Eastpoint and set up surveillance on four subjects who were catching large amounts of fish. He observed two of the subjects catching black drum and spotted sea trout. Gore approached the subjects and engaged in general conversation, and determined that the subjects were in possession of illegal trout and black drum. The subjects were also selling the black drum at the location where they caught the fish.
Gore identified himself as an FWC officer and conducted a resource inspection, during which he found oversized black drum and undersized spotted sea trout. The subjects were cited for possession of undersize spotted sea trout and issued warnings for possession of oversized black drum and the sale of saltwater products without a license. The trout were seized as evidence.
Gore and Allen were on vessel patrol on the Apalachicola River when they stopped a vessel for a wake zone violation and boating safety inspection. During the course of the inspection and issuing the operator a warning, Gore detected an odor of alcoholic beverage on the operator, who showed signs of impairment.
Gore conducted the field sobriety tasks in which the operator performed poorly. The operator was arrested for BUI and booked into the Franklin County Jail, where it was determined the operator had several prior arrests for DUI. Information was forwarded to the State Attorney's Office to direct file felony BUI charges.
Officers Allen, Anderson, and Louque conducted resource patrols in Apalachicola and encountered several vessels harvesting shellfish in the west end of Apalachicola Bay. The vessels were stopped and the shellfish on board checked for size tolerance. Five misdemeanor citations were issued to individuals harvesting shellfish that day for harvesting undersized oysters. The catches ranged from 62 to 73 percent undersized.
Gore was conducting surveillance on a boat landing and while watching vessels return to the landing, one vessel operator caught his attention. The operator was having difficulty docking the boat and backing his trailer into the water to load his boat. The operator showed several signs of impairment. As the operator attempted to load his boat, he fell into the water.
At this point, Gore intervened and identified himself as an FWC officer. Again, the operator showed signs of impairment during a boating safety inspection and did poorly on field sobriety tasks. The subject was placed under arrest for boating under the influence and transported to the Franklin County Jail. While at the jail, the vessel operator submitted to a breath test, which revealed his breath alcohol content was 0.15 and 0.14.
Gore was conducting surveillance on individuals fishing at a local fishing spot, when two individuals pulled up beside him and parked in two separate vehicles next to him. One of the operators exited his vehicle and approached the window of the other vehicle. After a brief conversation, the subject produced a large sum of cash and handed it through the window to the subject in the car. He then walked around and got into the passenger seat of that car.
Gore maintained surveillance on the subjects and made contact with Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and reported the suspicious activity. The K-9 Unit arrived on scene and conducted a consensual search of the vehicle and the two suspects. A large amount of cash was recovered along with a large amount of prescription pills (Percocet). Neither of the subjects had prescriptions for the controlled substance and both were arrested by sheriff’s deputies.