Skip to comments.Arrested on fishing without a license charge, is it unusual or not?
Posted on 08/15/2008 9:48:02 AM PDT by AuntB
GRAHAM - The arrest of five men for fishing without a license has many people in Graham talking.
And while these types of arrests are not common in Alamance County, N.C. Wildlife Commission officers say they are not all that unusual.
According to court documents, Juan Carlos Arias, 23; Jose Ernesto, 21; Javier Jimenez, 30; Edwin Alexander Marquez Rosa, 26; and Antonio Ordaz, 34, all of Kernersville, were arrested Aug. 6 at around 8:30 p.m. by N.C. Wildlife Resources officer J.R. Brown and charged with fishing without a license and a wildlife violation (taking non-game fish by an authorized method).
Brown said he ran into the men that day as he was patrolling the Haw River near Cooper Road in Graham. He said that, at first, he only saw a car parked there and decided to check it because it was in an area where he had cited people for loitering in the past.
He said he walked toward the edge of the river bank and saw someone throwing a net in the water. He ran the car's license plate number through his computer and it came back as registered in Forsyth County.
He began talking with one of the men as the man approached the car. In broken English, Brown said, the man told him that he had no fish. As the rest of the group also began walking toward the car carrying fishing rods, Brown said he noticed a cooler nearby. Inside he found several fish.
Brown said he asked the men for identification. Two of the men, he said, produced a Mexican or Central American identification card. Another one showed him an expired California identification, which Brown described as false. He said the men told him they live in Kernersville.
"At that time, I could have wrote them out a ticket or a citation," Brown said. But, he added, since he couldn't establish their identity or place of residence, he knew that the chances the men were going to show up for their court date were very slim, so he decided to arrest them.
Brown said arresting people under these circumstances is not uncommon, adding that in the past he has arrested people from Virginia who didn't have identification on them while patrolling other lakes in the state.
An unscientific search of court records revealed that Brown has charged at least 51 people for fishing without a license, a misdemeanor, between 2006 and July 2008 in Alamance County. All but the five recent cases were citations only.
Those cited had addresses from different parts of the state, including Burlington, Graham, Greensboro, Chapel Hill, Reidsville and High Point. At least one person cited listed Fort Mill, S.C., as the place of residence. It is not known by looking at the records whether identifications were provided in those cases.
Brown said that on an average week he can check up to 150 fishermen in the areas he patrols. "We are looking for anything," he said, adding that he is responsible for enforcing game, boating and fishing laws.
Geoff Cantrell, public information officer with the Wildlife Resources Commission's Division of Enforcement in Raleigh, said patrolling and enforcing these laws are daily occurrences. He said that on average, every year 5,500 people across the state receive a citation for a fishing violation, which includes fishing without a license. He said arrests are "quite common as well," though he didn't know the number of arrests every year.
He said one thing that can prompt an officer to arrest a person is if the person does not have a valid identification. Wildlife enforcement officers are sworn, full-time law enforcement officers who have full arrest authority for state and federal violations.
THE FIVE MEN ARRESTED last week, who listed Mexico as their place of birth in the citation, were given a court date of Aug. 21. One of the men already had a citation for driving without a license in Kernersville, Brown said.
The men were each put under a $200 bond but, because they were processed through the 287(g) program when they were taken to the Alamance County jail and found to be in the country illegally, they could not be released on bond.
On Monday, the men pleaded guilty to the charges in Alamance County District Court and were given credit for time served. They are still in jail under a federal detainer on immigration proceedings.
Attorney Ehber Rossi said he found the situation "curious."
"I've been practicing law in Alamance County for eight years," he said. "In that time, having been in court four days out of the week, I've never seen anyone arrested for fishing without a license."
He said that not having identification should not be grounds for arrest. "I am not aware of any requirements under the law to require someone to carry an ID," he said, adding that based on the officer's account, some of the men did provide identification from their country of origin. "Perhaps the officer thinks he is an expert in international documents," he said.
Rossi said he didn't think that the fact that all the men arrested were Hispanics was a coincidence. "I'd be glad to be wrong," he said. But, he added, "If you've done it before, give me the names. Tell me when that was."
He continued, "Absent that, people might get the wrong idea and think that the criteria being used to arrest has to do with national origin."
I don’t think applpie is looking for correlations. It is pretty straightforward to determine crime rates for any given group (applpie’s “who commits them”) are higher or lower than the norm, no correlation with other indicator variables is needed.
Of course, it is very non-PC to report crime rates using racial or ethnic identifiers...
He did the right thing within the law, and his instincts were proven correct when it came back that these fellows were in our country illegally. For the vast majority of illegals, they are not going to show up for court dates, because it would put them at risk of 1) being found out as illegals, and 2) deportation.
Thank you, Officer Brown!
The men produced Mexican and Central American IDs, plus a fake Cali ID, and had no local ID or addresses. Easy case to me: Call ICE, and deport them.
Quislings like the traitor in the above quote should be horsewhipped for assisting the illegal alien invasion.
Their ethnicity was immaterial. Their inability to speak English and the fact they carried non-citizen or phony IDs was critical.
Thank goodness they were finally caught.
Deport them all.
>Is it still illegal to go cat-fishing with explosives?<
My neighbor would almost certainly get upset if I tossed a stick of dynamite over the fence at her cat. Is it illegal? I don’t know.
Had ICE been involved it would have been a "Catch and Release" situation.
Calling an illegal alien an "undocumented immigrant"
is like calling a drug dealer an "unlicensed pharmacist ".
All passed the legal-size limits too!!!
There isn’t a catch limit when fishing for illegals, just like there isn’t a quota on terrorist hunting licenses.
Brown is lucky that Johnny Sutton isn't in that district.
Reader/Commentator gets Fried
Last comment to “Theantiterry” rips him a new one.
“It is VERY rare to be arrested for a lot of the things people are getting arrested for in Alamance County. Mainly Brown people.” -anti
Examples please. It’s easy to spout off here but harder to back up your statements with actual facts.
As for driving without a license, did it ever occur to you that people who don’t know our driving laws put EVERYBODY on the road in danger including themselves?
Lady, just a week or so ago, a lady here in Mebane was stopped with an EXPIRED, note I said EXPEIRED in both post, license. No insurance. EXPIRED tag. She DROVE away with a ticket.
These guys were arrested for no FISHING license. The story said they had no license among them. They were no caught or charged with operating a motor vehicle with no license.
Learn to read woman, or Monte in drag.
No fishing license is a prime example.
Expired license is another, usually a ticket, not jail.
Expired inspection is another.
There are a lot of things people are getting locked up for.
I do not have the time to argue with someone who can’t read, you are dismissed!
You seem to have difficulty understanding the difference between having a valid, verified NC resident’s address (as was the case with the Mebane woman, even though it expired) and not having any verifiable, legal residence whatsoever (as was the case with the five illegal aliens). The Officer explained the five illegals had no verifiable address and posed a definite flight risk for any citation issued and it was his duty to deter them, with incarceration if need be. Or didn’t you bother to read that part? Don’t worry, it appears Ehber Rossi has the same dysfunctional cerebral response.
READING IS FUNDAMENTAL.
Comparing a legal resident of the state with an expired license to an illegal alien who is a certain flight risk is not using good judgement because any STATE ISSUED DRIVER LICENSE number has an ADDRESS and now a SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER associated with the NAME, whether the license is revoked, expired, or even lost.
The Officer did his job and did it well. We should make a note of an accusatory tone of racism from your “Mainly Brown people,” comment. For your information, because some 98% or more of illegal aliens who steal/have stolen their way into the US have Mexican or Latin American origins, and because some who have chosen to be here illegally eventually end up getting caught when checked for any host of unrelated issues does not make Officers prejudiced nor does it make others racist for pointing out those facts. The DHS’s own statistics as reported by the US Border Patrol on apprehensions by nationality attest the 98% - READ IT. So GUESS WHAT? that statistically makes the chance of crossing paths with one who entered the US illegally “BROWN”, by your definition. If you want to insinuate racism toward Brown people, might I suggest you begin lodging your complaint with Chertoff and the DHS for issuing their numbers?
You are now dismissed as well.