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FL: Two men charged with illegally hunting alligators

Two Fort Myers men charged with illegally hunting alligators

Monday, July 27, 2009

FORT MYERS — A vehicle parked along a deserted road near a lake and two men standing near it with a light aroused suspicion late Friday in Lee County, leading law enforcement to believe the men were illegally hunting alligators.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer on patrol spotted the vehicle west of Interstate 75, north of Daniels Parkway and near Palomino Drive. He notified the Lee County Sheriff’s Office and deputies arrived to assist.

The FWC officer found the two men, Joshua Vercil Senseman, 20, who lists Fort Myers addresses of 11951 Honeysuckle Road and 8385 San Marcos Road, and Benjamin Davis Burns, 18, 1445 Byron Road, Fort Myers, standing near the lake with a flashlight. Senseman was holding a rifle, but put it down when told to do so, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

During a search of the men’s vehicle, raw chicken, a hook and electrical tape was found, according to the report. Those items can be used when hunting alligators.

The men face felony charges of armed trespassing and misdemeanor charges related to the potential illegal hunting of alligators. If convicted on the felony, the men face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

In Florida, a special permit is required in Florida to hunt alligators during season which is from Aug. 15 through Nov. 1 and in regulated areas only, Gary Morse, an FWC spokesman said Monday.

If the men are found guilty, a judge could order their hunting licenses suspended.

Morse did not immediately have information on whether the men have hunting licenses.

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