Monday August 1, 2022

IMMOKALEE MAN ARRESTED FOR ILLEGALLY HARVESTING SAW PALMETTO BERRIES

A 29-year-old Immokalee man was arrested after he attempted to flee from a traffic stop before he was found with illegally harvested saw palmetto berries.

Delmar Vasquez-Ramirez faces a charge of fleeing and eluding deputies while their sirens are activated. He also faces charges of harvesting the endangered plant without a permit and driving while his license was suspended.

Vasquez-Ramirez was also wanted for violating probation in Hillsborough County. Details of the crime were not released.

The traffic stop happened after a deputy spotted a vehicle going over the speed limit on CR-846.

The deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, but it sped up instead.

The vehicle finally stopped in the parking lot of 808 East Main Street, a farm-packing house where palmetto berries are bought and sold.

Deputies found several large rice bags filled with berries.

Vasquez-Ramirez told the deputy he did not have a permit to harvest the berries, but he was harvesting them on behalf of someone who did.

However, the license was for harvesting berries in Myakka City and Vasquez-Ramirez told authorities he and his crew had been harvesting near LaBelle, about a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Myakka City.

The owners of the berries could not be identified. They were taken to the Collier County landfill for disposal.

Vasquez-Ramirez will be extradited to Hillsborough County. He remains at the Immokalee Jail Center.

ANOTHER CASE OF ANIMAL CRUELTY IN CLEWISTION

Another suspected animal cruelty incident in Clewiston.  A dog was found in the streets of Clewiston bloodied and bruised over the weekend.

According to Clewiston Animal Services, the dog was found on Harlem Academy Ave. The dog suffered extensive injuries according to the Clewiston Animal Services Face Book post.

It is currently unknown who the dog might have belonged to before it was found.

If you have any information, Clewiston Animal Services said you can contact Detective Williams at (863)983-1474.