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February 20, 2009

Illegal gill netters arrested in Florida

Officers booked both men into the Charlotte County Jail.
By Fwc

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers arrested two Palm Beach County men early Wednesday and charged them with a variety of offenses related to the constitutional ban on the use of gill nets in state waters and illegal possession of fish. Arrested were Charles Christopher Mischloney, 37, of Green Acres and David Allen Tortorice, 25, of West Palm Beach.

According to the FWC, Charlotte County Deputy W. Weisspsennig Jr. notified FWC Officer Daniel Cantu of gill netters in the Pirate Harbor canal system.

At approximately 1:15 a.m., Cantu and Weisspsennig saw the two men gill-netting from their vessel. The officers ordered the vessel operator to idle the vessel and secure it at a dock.

After inspecting the vessel and interviewing the subjects, officers charged the men with illegal use of monofilament net, transit violation, operating a vessel less than 22-feet-long in possession of gill net, using an unmarked gill net, possession of goliath grouper, possession of out-of-season and oversized snook, using an illegal method to take snook and possession of oversized black drum. Officers booked both men into the Charlotte County Jail.

Officer Cantu seized the vessel, a 16-foot, fiberglass, center-console model, two snook, one black drum and one goliath grouper and destroyed approximately 75-100 pounds of mullet, sand bream, sheepshead and spadefish.