“Billy the Douche”: Jupiter, FL Man is Arrested on “a Tip” for Capturing & Keeping Loggerhead Sea Turtle Hatchlings in a Home Aquarium
Although I can’t find a picture of 54 y/o William Jowett of Jupiter, FL I do have a picture of the pair of federally protected Loggerhead Turtle Hatchlings that were recovered from a fish tank inside of his home…
Per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission they received “a tip” that “Billy the Douche” was in possession of the above-pictured baby Loggerheads, so they sent their criminal investigators out to do their thing.
It is unknown just “how” FFWCC Officers got into Billy’s home (i.e. whether there was a warrant, whether they secured lawful consent or whether they torqued Billy – literally or figuratively – into admitting his crime and / or admitting the officers access to his premises) but it is indisputable that Billy had the Loggerheads in his home aquarium. Further, FFWCC officials report that Billy confessed, allegedly admitting that he had found the turtles in his backyard canal and, with intent to release the hatchlings, he had placed them in his fish tank to show his daughters. However, Billy reportedly further stated that he did not release them as he had grown too attached (which is easy to understand as Loggerheads are, if nothing else, way cooooooool).
Still, and not withstanding their coolness, Loggerhead sea turtles are protected as a “threatened species” under the “Federal Endangered Species Act“, but possession of these majestic creatures is also unlawful under Florida State Law (F.S. 379.3421, which you can view here, makes such possession a 1st degree misdemeanor which is punishable by 364 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine per violation).
Memo to Billy & the Folks: Regardless of what the cops may tell you (and how intimidating their manner in doing so may be) “tips”, “anonymous calls”, suspicions and hunches DO NOT necessarily mean that the cops have probable cause (PC) to search your property, much less to enter your home. Absent either your VOLUNTARY consent or a recognized exception to the Constitutional requirement that the cops secure a warrant (i.e. which essentially boils down to being some sort of a bonafide emergency) the cops MUST secure a warrant to search your property or to enter your home. You do NOT NEED to give them your consent and are free to tell them to…
When it comes to the subject of “Cops, Courts and Constitutions” you should always have a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who is focused on serving your interests. While we can’t stop the cops from arresting you, as your legal counsel Michael A. Haber, PA will ensure that your rights are respected from the moment that representation begins and that any abuses which may have occurred beforehand are remedied.
At Michael A. Haber, P.A. “Its all about reasonable doubt”!
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THIS BLOG POST (AS ARE ALL OF HABERPA BLOG POSTS) IS A PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT WHICH IS PRIMARILY DESIGNED, BY WAY OF REAL WORLD EXAMPLE, TO ASSIST THE GENERAL PUBLIC IN AVOIDING CONDUCT WHICH COULD FORESEEABLY RESULT IN ARREST AND PROSECUTION!
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