5/08: 90 year old Johnny Osteen's case
Our last four letters back and forth to the FWC pertaining to 90 year old Johnny Osteen's case with a final comment. Have we proved our point?
May 2nd, 2006 From FFF to the FWC:
Dear Colonel Jones,
...13 times to court before they dropped the charges against 90 year old Mr. Johnny Osteen of Cross City.
According to Mr. Osteen...
The FWC refuses to return his net and pay for the fish they confiscated.
No net in Florida is contraband on land.
Mr. Osteen has an RS and was arrested on a weekday.
I'm sure he'd appreciate different news .
Johnny Osteen, (352) 498-4228, Suwannee Lumber Rd, Cross City, FL 32628
From Fishing For Freedom
May 5th, 2006 From the FWC to FFF:
Dear Fishing For Freedom,
On behalf of Colonel Julie Jones,
This case has not been dismissed. The FWC will complete proper
disposition upon conclusion of the case in the court system.
Captain John Burton
May 5th, 2006 From FFF to the FWC:
In addition to it being absolutely shameful this 90 year old man had to show for court 13 times on a clearly "bad case," the FWC needs to get it's act together. The CASE WAS DISMISSED ON April 24th and Mr. Osteen's letter from the judge verifying dismissal is dated MAY 2, 2006. Mr. Osteen is in possession of the letter from the Judge that dismissed it. In addition to 13 trips to the courthouse for no reason other than intimidation, Mr. Osteen made two additional trips to recover his net and money ($1.00 a lb. is the going rate for mullet) owed him for the illegally confiscated mullet that were headed for a retarded children's home. We started covering this case since day #1 to show the public exactly what the FWC is doing to our (mostly) elderly citizens that don't have the money to hire a pricey attorney. We have plenty of similar cases.
Out of 2,500 arrests that I made in the past, I have never failed to show up at a single court date. The false arrest made by Officer Kenneth Norris upon me in 1996 forced me to show up at 7 hearings with the officer never appearing after he knew I was 100% legal and could prove it. What's new? Obviously we've proved by covering this case daily that nothing has changed in 10 years. Dave Grix AMERICAN Citizen Fishing For Freedom
10 years ago: http://fishingforfreedom.net/FWC-Abuse-of-VP
May 5th, 2006 From the FWC to FFF:
On behalf of Colonel Julie Jones,
Upon further review after receiving your e-mail, we have determined the case was dismissed. We apologize for the confusion. When the previous response was sent, we were told by the State Attorneys Office the case had not been dismissed. The FWC will complete proper disposition of the case and will be in contact with Mr. Osteen regarding the return of his net.
Captain John Burton
5/08/06 FFF Comment ... Apology accepted about FWC "confusion." BUT... What about paying for his wrongfully confiscated catch? How many children were deprived of the wholesome seafood this productive citizen would have provided them last year?
And so, "my fellow Americans," this is how our innocent veterans that happen to be commercial fishermen are treated by the corrupt FWC. We chose to follow this specific case one year ago to show the unaware public exactly what we have claimed is happening to our community. I think we have proved OUR case beyond any reasonable doubt. The FWC must be abolished to restore our constitution and it's protections to the way our founding fathers intended it to operate. This IS America.
On April 24th, Johnny Osteen's case was dismissed after 13 trips to the courthouse without a trial on the FWC's bogus charge. THEN...
Mr. Osteen was told to return to the courthouse the next day to pick up his nets.The following day when he arrived at the courthouse, he was told to make the 100 mile round trip to Crystal River's FWC impound to collect his gear. The FWC refuses to release the net. Note FWC... It is not illegal to OWN ANY net in Florida. Return this man's net and pay the money you owe him for the confiscated legal mullet. Fishing For Freedom
Today, April 24th, the state called Mr. Osteen and told him to show up at the courthouse at 3PM ... NOT for the trial by jury that was supposed to take place, but for another decision on whether or not the FWC would go to trial or not. The FWC is sick.
Attention Senators and Representatives: This is how the FWC treats our senior citizens. April 26th will be Mr. Osteen's 12th trip to court to prove his innocence. Please do something about this abuse!
Update: April 6th cancelled, rescheduled again for April 26th.
Mr. Osteen and his wife are becoming irrate, and you should too! Johnny Osteen is once again scheduled to go to trial at the Cross City Courthouse. The newest date: April 6th at 2PM. The FWC should be punished for what they've done to the Osteens.
Update: March 27th now cancelled.
On March 27th, 9AM at the Cross City Court House, Mr. Osteen will go to trial before a jury. If the public defender does not use everything we provided to clear this man of any wrongdoing, FFF will make sure she feels the brunt of several bar complaints.
On 3/16 I spoke with community leaders, including city council members, and law enforcement officials about Mr. Osteen. Everyone is upset with the public defender and what is happening to Mr. Osteen. We've contacted Governor Bush again. Shame on Florida.
On 3/16, Mr. Osteen's WORTHLESS public defender asked Mr. Osteen if he would agree to pay $135, plead "no contest," and do community service. NO WAY. We provided her with Mr. Osteen's proof of innocense in JULY and may file a bar complaint against her
My investigation turned up that the FWC Officer that wrote Mr. Osteen this bogus ticket is the husband of one of the women that work for a judge in the small Cross City Courthouse. This debacle is smelling more rotten all of the time. :(
This is how the FWC treats the innocent. It happened to me 10 years ago, it continues today. This agency MUST be abolished and accountability restored with law abiding personnel.
March...Yet another update. Mr. Osteen informed me that on March 17th he has to appear again. I will be there to document this insanity.
February UPDATE! Mr. Osteen was just notified by the State Attorney stating that EVERY judge in the county REFUSED to allow this FWC case to go to trial. That says it all folks!
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! Governor Bush, we are calling upon you to stop the never ending persecution of 89 year old Johnny Osteen now! Time is precious to someone near 90.
Governor Bush Responded to our E-mail about Mr. Osteen on January 9th: Mr. Osteen said that the trial has once again been re-scheduled ... This time for February.
"thanks for sharing this. I will look into it.
Thank you Governor, Fishing For Freedom.
January Update - Mr. Johnny Osteen's December 5th (NOW JANUARY 9th, 2006) trial date has come and gone. Once again his "day in court" to prove his innocence was postponed. Osteen vows to "never give up!" Now that's the spirit! Shame on the FWC.
December Update - Yet another trial scheduled for January. :(
November Update: I attended Mr. Osteen's hearing and ONCE AGAIN the FWC wasn't there.
Mr. and Mrs. Osteen appeared at court in July ... Then August ... Then September ... Then October on this same bogus charge.
L to R. Meet Mr. Morris Jerrells, Mr. Johnny Osteen and Mrs. Osteen. This photo was taken by me after Mr. Osteen's 4th or 5th delayed trial back in NOVEMBER ... THEN DECEMBER ... THEN JANUARY ... NOW FEBRUARY ... NOW MARCH :(
Mr. Osteen, 89, drove his truck, boat, net and fish to a "Jiffy Store" to get a Coca-Cola several miles away from the boat ramp. As he exited his truck, an FWC officer told him that "It was reported" that he had a gill net and mullet on the boat. Mr. Osteen, did have mullet on the boat that he was taking to a retirement home on a weekday. (Town people say he was taking the mullet to a retarded children's home.)
1. The officer did not have a signed affidavit for probable cause to initiate a stop on a "reported" misdemeanor charge. (Florida law.)
2. The officer never issued a Miranda warning.
3. The officer questioned Mr. Osteen without a Miranda warning and wrote a citation on the information obtained.
4. The officer charged Mr. Osteen with "simultaneous possession of a gill net and mullet."
......A. Mr. Osteen has a restricted species endorsement for as many mullet as he can catch on weekdays.
......B. Mr. Osteen's net was NOT a gill net according to FS 370.093(2)(b).
......C. Mr. Osteen was arrested BEFORE July 1, 2005 when the law that made his net a gill net went into effect.
......D. Despite State Attorneys in Tallahassee refusing to prosecute similar cases DUE TO THE LAW, the FWC felt it was fitting to arrest Mr. Osteen, confiscate his nets and fish anyway.
5. The officer that allegedly made the initial report to the eventual arresting officer, never made the arrest himself or appeared at the arrest scene. Hmmmmmm.
6. I contacted FWC Commander Julie Jones about this case, who in turn, gave the information over to another Colonel. (CYA anyone?) The Colonel stated he wouldn't drop the case despite my pointing out several FWC violations of law and Mr. Osteen's civil rights.
What else should we expect from the FWC. After all, their commander admits to condoning the arrest of citizens and charging them with FELONIES under proposed laws. (We have the proof.) We know who belongs in jail, and it isn't Mr. Osteen. I believe this was the fifth time Mr. Osteen has had to appear downtown on this case. The trial is "allegedly" scheduled for December. (AS I SAID FOLKS, "ALLEGEDLY" SCHEDULED FOR DECEMBER. IT HAS ONCE AGAIN BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL JANUARY...NOW FEBRUARY.) Is this how Mr. Osteen should spend his time, hoping that the FWC will eventually show up for a bad case? Many of us know that trick all too well. Mr. and Mrs. Osteen, and Mr. Jerrells appreciate your prayers. To the FWC: This is the way YOU treat a person near 90 years old? :( Your agency needs to be investigated by the Department Of Justice.