MILTON — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission filed these cases between Jan. 26 to Feb. 1 in Santa Rosa County:
Officer Hutchinson was on patrol when he observed a truck parked in the middle of a paved road. He pulled up to the vehicle and saw a man slumped over in the driver seat. He attempted to get his attention and when he did the man sat up in the seat and drove off. The truck swerved off the roadway and into the other lane several times. Along with a Santa Rosa County Sheriff’s deputy who was patrolling the area, the vehicle was stopped and the man was placed under arrest for driving with a suspended license and driving under the influence of alcohol.
Officer Ramos discovered several large piles of yard waste, construction debris, fencing materials and insulation that had been illegally dumped on a county road. An investigation led to a nearby home which was undergoing an extensive remodel. The homeowner advised he paid a man to take the debris to the county landfill for proper disposal and that the man even asked for extra money for landfill fees. With the cooperation of the homeowner, Officer Ramos, along with FWC Investigations, set up a second job for the suspect to return to the property and haul off more debris a couple of days later. When the suspect arrived, he loaded a flatbed trailer full of debris and was paid to deliver it to the landfill. Officer Ramos and the FWC investigator followed the suspect covertly when he left the home. The suspect drove directly to the same dumpsite as before and quickly offloaded the debris on the county road. The officers revealed themselves and the suspect was placed under arrest. He was transported to the county jail and faces multiple counts of felony and commercial dumping.
Officer Hutchinson and Investigator Hughes received a call from a complainant who informed them that he saw a truck drive up to the edge of a field, two teenagers exit the vehicle and one of them fire a rifle in his direction at a deer. After missing the deer, the teens drove off. The complainant said the following day, the same truck was seen again at the field after more shots. The complainant identified one of the subjects. The officers drove to the field and located evidence from the incident. The following day, Officer Hutchinson located both subjects at their residence and interviewed them. One of them confessed to shooting at the deer from the right of way and trespassing. The firearms used to commit the violation were seized as evidence and charges were filed with the State’s Attorney Office for attempting to take deer from a right of way.
Officers Hutchinson, Long and Clark were working late at night targeting night hunting. Officer Hutchinson saw a truck shining the field he was watching and conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. While speaking with the three subjects, he discovered that the driver was the father of the other two subjects. All three subjects admitted to shining several fields that night to try to shoot a deer. The shotgun and the spotlight were seized and the subjects were cited appropriately.
Officer Hutchinson saw a vehicle travelling towards him while shining a field with an LED light bar mounted on the vehicle. He watched the vehicle turn towards the field a couple of times and sweep the light across the field attempting to locate deer. As the vehicle approached Officer Hutchinson’s location, it stopped. A loaded hunting rifle was in the front seat. While interviewing the subjects they admitted to shining the field to look for deer. The firearm was seized and the driver of the vehicle was charged with night hunting.
Officers Lewis and Jernigan received a complaint regarding someone illegally camping in a non-designated camping area in Blackwater River State Forest. Camping in the forest is only allowed in designated areas. When the officers arrived at the site, there was no one in the area. The area was in disarray, with trash and camping supplies consisting of propane bottles, a grill, soda cans, papers, and alcoholic beverage containers strewn about. The debris extended into a nearby creek. Various trees had been cut down. The officers identified two individuals from articles that were left behind.
The officers contacted the subjects who cooperated with the officers and gave them the names of seven other subjects that camped in the area. The subjects were juveniles and young adults. The officers individually interviewed the subjects at their residences. Each of the subjects admitted to various crimes and, in total, 25 citations and three warnings were issued to the nine subjects.