FWC long-term investigation, fish and wildlife being sold on black market

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) investigation led to the arrests on Friday, Aug. 9, of three suspects in Levy and Pinellas counties for violating state laws pertaining to illegally harvesting and selling various fish and wildlife. Fifteen additional suspects were served with a notice to appear citations in Levy, Orange, Pinellas, and Broward counties.

As part of a long-term investigation initiated in May 2017, FWC investigators managed to engage with this group of associates to gain information and evidence. The suspects were taking deer out of season, alligators without licenses and permits, and protected gopher tortoises. During a closure in response to red tide, they illegally took snook, jeopardizing the fishery’s recovery.

“Organized criminal operations like this pose serious environmental and economic consequences,” said Col. Curtis Brown, head of FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement. “They damage our precious natural resources and create black markets that undermine the legal process. We do our best to put a stop to these crimes, supporting law-abiding business owners, landowners and those who enjoy recreating in Florida.”

“Many Floridians make their living in and around Florida’s waters, and when a group of individuals disregards the conservation efforts of so many, it’s encouraging to see the FWC and agency partners work hard to bring those individuals to justice,” said JD Dickenson, Coastal Conservation Association Florida chairman. “CCA Florida is proud of the hard work that FWC officers do in protecting the resources that we all enjoy.”

“As an advocate for sportsmen’s groups in Florida, I applaud FWC law enforcement for its efforts to protect our resources,” said Lane Stephens, a long-time lobbyist for hunting and fishing organizations in Florida.

There are still aspects of this investigation that are ongoing, and additional charges may be forthcoming.

The suspects and their charges are as follows:

James Alexander Smith

  • CHARGE 1: Unlawful sale of deer
    F.S. 379.404(5) – 3rd Degree Felony
  • CHARGE 2: Taking/Possession of deer during the closed season
    F.S. 379.404(3) – 1st Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 3: Unlawful sale of deer
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) / F.A. C. 68A-12.004(1) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 4: Illegal take/possession of American alligator
    F.S. 379.409(1) – 3rd Degree Felony
  • CHARGE 5: Unlawful sale of an American alligator
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) / F.A. C. 68A-25.002(1) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 6: Unlawful sale of deer
    F.S. 379.404(5) – 3rd Degree Felony
  • CHARGE 7: Taking/Possession of deer during the closed season
    FS 379.404(3) – 1st Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 8: Unlawful sale of deer
    F.S. 379.404(5) – 3rd Degree Felony

Sherod Christopher Strawder

  • CHARGE 1: Possession of snook three fish or more in excess of the daily bag limit
    F.S. 379.407(4)(a)- 1st Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: Sale of a saltwater product without a saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 3: Sale of snook
    F.A.C. 68B-21.007(1) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 4: Possession of over the bag limit of snook
    F.A.C. 68A-21.004(1)(b) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 5: Possession of snook during the closed season
    F.A.C. 68B-21.005(2)(b) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 6: Harvest or possession of snook for commercial purposes
    68B-21.004(2) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 7: Possession of oversize/undersize snook Gulf Region
    68B-21.003(b) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Aaronnette Jermeshal Shytresa Lee

  • CHARGE 1: Possession of a short-barreled shotgun
    FS 790.221(1) – 2nd Degree Felony

The following individuals were issued Notice to Appear citations on Aug. 9, 2019:

Illie McIntosh Jr.

  • CHARGE 1: Unlawful purchase of a saltwater product by dealer or restaurant from other than a licensed dealer
    F.S. 379.362(8)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: No saltwater retail license
    F.S. 379.361(2)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 3: Unlawful purchase of freshwater game fish
    68A-23.009(1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 4: Unlawful purchase of freshwater game fish
    68A-23.009(1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Darryl Sherod James

  • CHARGE 1: Unlawful purchase of alligator
    68A-25.002(1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: Unlawful purchase of alligator
    68A-25.002(1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Emmitt Laurent Brown

  • CHARGE 1: Unlawful purchase of freshwater game fish
    68A-23.009(1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: Unlawful purchase of alligator
    68A-25.002(1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Tej Prakash Bhojnauth

  • CHARGE 1: Possession of deer out of season
    F.S. 379.404(1)- 1st Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: Possession of deer out of season
    F.S. 379.404(1)- 1st Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 3: Unlawful purchase of snook
    68B-21.007(1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Kumar Persaud Naurang

  • CHARGE 1: Illegal purchase of deer
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68A-12.004 (1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: Possession of deer out of season
    F.S. 379.404(1)- 1st Degree Misdemeanor

Somal Persaud Haimdas

  • CHARGE 1: Possession of deer out of season
    F.S. 379.404(1)- 1st Degree Misdemeanor

Larry Kenson Charlery

  • CHARGE 1: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 3: Major violation- no saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.407(7)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 4: Illegal purchase of deer
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68A-12.004 (1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Seeraj Bire

  • CHARGE 1: Illegal purchase of turkey
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68A-12.004 (1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: Illegal purchase of deer
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68A-12.004 (1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 3: Illegal purchase of deer
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68A-12.004 (1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 4: Illegal sale of deer
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68A-12.004 (7)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 5: Possession of deer out of season
    F.S. 379.404(1)- 1st Degree Misdemeanor

Robert Jonathan Cresser

  • CHARGE 1: Illegal purchase of deer
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68A-12.004 (1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Narrad Persaud

  • CHARGE 1: Illegal purchase of deer
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68A-12.004 (1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Suraj Persaud

  • CHARGE 1: Unlawful purchase of snook
    68B-21.007(1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Michael Antonio Smith

  • CHARGE 1: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: Unlawful purchase of a saltwater product by dealer or restaurant from other than a licensed dealer
    F.S. 379.362(8)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 3: Major violation- no saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.407(7)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Joe Earl Rowe

  • CHARGE 1: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 3: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 4: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 5: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 6: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 7: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 8: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 9: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 10: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 11: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 12: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 13: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 14: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 15: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 16: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 17: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 18: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 19: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 20: No retail license
    F.S. 379.362(2)(g)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 21: Possession of undersized sheepshead
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68B-59.003(1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 22: Possession of undersized sheepshead
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68B-59.003(1) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 23: Possession of undersized sheepshead
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68B-59.003(1) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 24: Possession of undersized sheepshead
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68B-59.003(1) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 25: Possession of undersized sheepshead
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68B-59.003(1) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 26: Possession of undersized sheepshead
    F.S. 379.401(2)(a) & 68B-59.003(1) – 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 27: Major violation- no saltwater products license 2nd violation
    F.S. 379.407(7)- 1st Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 28: No freshwater dealer license
    F.S. 379.363(1)(b)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 29: No freshwater dealer license
    F.S. 379.363(1)(b)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

Konstantinos P. Apergis

  • CHARGE 1: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: No saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.361(2)(a)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 3: Major violation- no saltwater products license
    F.S. 379.407(7)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

George Louis McBride

  • CHARGE 1: Unlawful sale of freshwater game fish
    68A-23.009 (1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor
  • CHARGE 2: Unlawful sale of freshwater game fish
    68A-23.009 (1)- 2nd Degree Misdemeanor

The public can also help by reporting suspected violations to the FWC. Call the Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text or email to Tip@MyFWC.com.

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