Fish and Wildlife Officers Help In War On Drugs
They're usually making sure that hunters and fishermen are obeying the laws, but local fish and wildlife officers have recently been making a lot of arrests that aren't related to mother nature.
According to statistics recently released by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, game wardens from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission made 52 drug arrests in the counties that make up TV20's viewing area during the first six months of this year.
Adminstrators from the agency say their officers aren't necessarily looking for druggies, they just come across them while making nature-related patrols.
"Often it spins-off into other violations, including drug violations," said Pilot Joe Johnston from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
F-W-C officers say many of the drug users are spotted from above by helicopter or are caught as they come in off the Santa Fe River.
"I think a lot of times, what happens, these boat ramps are in rural areas. People purchase these illegal drugs in the city and urban areas, and they come out here thinking they're not going to be caught," said Lt. David Ferguson from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Of the 52 drug arrests made by F-W-C officers, 17 happened in Gilchrist County and nine occurred in Columbia County.
Satistics for the second half of this year won't be available until next summer.
By David Hamilton/WCJB TV20 News
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