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Florida Statutes Title XXVIII. Natural Resources; Conservation, Reclamation, and Use § 379.3313. Powers of commission law enforcement officers

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(1) Law enforcement officers of the commission are constituted law enforcement officers of this state with full power to investigate and arrest for any violation of the laws of this state and the rules of the commission, the department, the Board of Trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund, and the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services under their jurisdiction.  The general laws applicable to arrests by peace officers of this state shall also be applicable to law enforcement officers of the commission.  Such law enforcement officers may enter upon any land or waters of the state for performance of their lawful duties and may take with them any necessary equipment, and such entry will not constitute a trespass.  It is lawful for any boat, motor vehicle, or aircraft owned or chartered by the commission or its agents or employees to land on and depart from any of the beaches or waters of the state.  Such law enforcement officers have the authority, without warrant, to board, inspect, and search any boat, fishing appliance, storage or processing plant, fishhouse, spongehouse, oysterhouse, or other warehouse, building, or vehicle engaged in transporting or storing any fish or fishery products.  Such authority to search and inspect without a search warrant is limited to those cases in which such law enforcement officers have reason to believe that fish or any saltwater products are taken or kept for sale, barter, transportation, or other purposes in violation of laws or rules adopted under this law.  Such law enforcement officers may at any time seize or take possession of any saltwater products or contraband which have been unlawfully caught, taken, or processed or which are unlawfully possessed or transported in violation of any of the laws of this state or any rule of the commission.  Such law enforcement officers may arrest any person in the act of violating this law, the rules of the commission, or any of the laws of this state.  It is unlawful for a person to resist such arrest or in any manner interfere, either by abetting or assisting such resistance or otherwise interfering, with any such law enforcement officer while engaged in the performance of the duties imposed upon him or her by law or rule of the commission.

(2) The Legislature finds that the checking and inspection of saltwater products aboard vessels is critical to good fishery management and conservation and that, because almost all saltwater products are either iced or cooled in closed areas or containers, the enforcement of seasons, size limits, and bag limits can only be effective when inspection of saltwater products so stored is immediate and routine.  Therefore, in addition to the authority granted in subsection (1), a law enforcement officer of the commission who has probable cause to believe that the vessel has been used for fishing prior to the inspection shall have full authority to open and inspect all containers or areas where saltwater products are normally kept aboard vessels while such vessels are on the water, such as refrigerated or iced locations, coolers, fish boxes, and bait wells, but specifically excluding such containers that are located in sleeping or living areas of the vessel.

Cite this article: - Florida Statutes Title XXVIII. Natural Resources; Conservation, Reclamation, and Use § 379.3313. Powers of commission law enforcement officers - last updated January 01, 2019 |

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