CONTACT: Sarah Wittman
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 25, 2019
Fort Myers, FL – On Wednesday, July 24th in the jury trial of a Southwest Florida charter captain, a jury found the Florida native ‘Not Guilty’. The 30-plus year professional captain was facing criminal charges for the possession of an undersized fish.
Said Sawyer C. Smith, Managing Partner “It is inconceivable that after the blows our local fishing guides have recently been dealt by the mismanagement of our water, they are now being preyed upon by overzealous cops. I am proud of our team for standing between our local guides and the rapaciousness of law enforcement.”
On the day of the alleged offense, the local captain was stopped by an FWC officer for a random resource inspection revealing a Hogfish had been harvested during the charter. Florida law requires that Hogfish caught in our local waters measure a minimum of 14 inches to the “fork” of the tail, however the inspecting officer’s measurement showed the fish at only 13 1⁄2 inches. Evidence introduced at trial proved the officer manipulated his measurement and after a mere 20- minute deliberation, the jury returned with the verdict of ‘Not Guilty’.