News Releases

Monroe Co. officer honored by conservation association

News Release

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Media contact: Officer Robert Dube, 305-684-8703

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer James Johnson was recently recognized as the "Regional Law Enforcement Officer of the Year" by the Coastal Conservation Association, Florida Keys chapter. Based in Monroe County, the 24-year veteran of the FWC has spent his entire law enforcement career in the lower Florida Keys, where he is known for his diligence in enforcing the law and for his knowledge of the local fishery.

"Officer Johnson is truly deserving of this award," said Maj. Alfredo Escanio, regional commander. "He consistently addresses the FWC Division of Law Enforcement's core missions: resource protection; and boating, waterways and public safety."

Johnson has been involved in significant cases involving marine resource law violations.. Last month, a judge ordered a defendant to pay more than $13,000 for possessing 39 lobsters harvested last July during the closed season.

In October 2010, Johnson was performing routine dockside boat inspections on Stock Island. Three fishermen were found with 5,000 pounds of lobster worth about $30,000. He seized 345 undersize lobsters as evidence, and the fishermen were charged with misdemeanors. The case is pending. The seizure was the FWC's largest of the season.

"Officer Johnson is a shining example of a career officer whose dedication and perseverance have led to numerous significant cases. He has enhanced the safety of the boating public and serves as an example to his fellow officers," said Coastal Conservation Association Vice President Michael Kennedy. "We are fortunate that he has chosen to protect Florida's resources."

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