Boaters could be charged with Racketeering for Accidentally Kill or injuring a Manatee!Posted on Mar 24 in Member Blog
BOATERS COULD BE CHARGED WITH RACKETEERING FOR ACCIDENTALLY KILLING OR INJURING A MANATEE OR OTHER PROTECTED SPECIES
There is a bill working its way through the Florida that in its current form is dangerous to our industry and your customers.
From Missy Timmins, Marine Industries of Florida lobbyist. Racketeering.
Senate Bill 776: by Senator Gainer and House Bill 783 by Overdorf. We have met with Senators and need this to be changed. As written, anyone who has a “take” (including an incidental take) of a protected species can be charged under the RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization), the same law used to charge mob bosses.
While FWC says they would not pursue a RICO violation for an incidental take, this law would allow it and there is no guarantee FWC would not use it in the future. This can include very heavy penalties, forfeiture of property (they can take your boat), and jail time.
The Senate bill is ready for the Senate floor. The House bill has two more committee stops. Please, contact your legislator and ask them to change “take” to “collect, harvest or capture”.
Sorry for the short notice but time is of the essence. This will be on the floor again tomorrow (Thursday, 3/25), so please reach out today and let your opinion be known!