Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy to Enforce Federal Waterways Law
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Justin McBride,
Lee County Division of Natural Resources – Marine Program.
A Lee County Sheriff’s Deputy will begin enforcing federal marine protection laws on Thursday, June 21st when the officer becomes a Deputy US Game Warden. The move is the result of an agreement between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Sheriff’s office to expand the powers of Lee County’s Marine Resource Deputy.
Earlier this year the Sheriff’s office and the Lee County Division of Natural Resources (DNR) executed an agreement to dedicate a full-time marine unit deputy to focus on protection of marine resources. Corporal Joe Ragen will assist county DNR personnel in the investigation, apprehension and prosecution of abandoned vessel cases; enforcement of state and federal manatee zones; and monitoring of fisheries violations on Lee County artificial reefs.
Ragen is one of only a handful of local officers in the country to be
granted federal law enforcement powers. The agreement to deputize officers
federally is usually entered into only with state agencies. US Fish and
Wildlife Service Officers suggested bestowing Federal powers on the Resource
Deputy at a Lee County Marine Law Enforcement Task Force Meeting
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Tom R. MacKenzie
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