FWC DIVISION OF LAW ENFORCEMENT
June 8 – 14, 2012
Plain-clothes Officer Jason Carroll was in a Wakulla County store when he overheard a man asking two other men if they would sell some alligator meat. The two suspects were showing him pictures on a cell phone. Officer Carroll approached the two men and befriended them. During his conversation, the two subjects showed Officer Carroll pictures of alligators they had recently killed in Jefferson County and Cairo, Georgia. They also invited Officer Carroll to participate in some hunts. At this point, Officer Carroll identified himself and requested assistance from Officer Jamie Holcomb and Lt. Kent Harvey. The subjects were detained.
During the course of the investigation that evening, the officers developed additional information about more alligators that had been killed out of season by the defendants and other subjects in the area. They also determined where the defendants had killed one of the alligators the previous night. Rangers with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources were notified about the alligator that was killed in Cairo, Georgia, and they joined the investigation. At the conclusion of the first night, plain-clothes officers conducted surveillance on three more residences, where they developed leads on more suspects and the location of additional alligator parts.
The following day, officers located another alligator carcass and the three defendants who killed the alligator in Wakulla County earlier in the week. One subject was already on probation. During the course of interviews, officers obtained statements and secured charges on the three subjects, along with narcotics charges.
In total, four alligators were confirmed killed out of season, three rifles were seized and 11 misdemeanor arrests were made on nine defendants, not including the Georgia charges. At one residence, violations involving the possession of venomous snakes were found and the case was turned over to captive wildlife investigators.
During evening patrol on Lake Jackson, Lt. Harry Parker cited a Jefferson County man for possession of four undersized black bass that were less than 18 inches in length.