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Fishing For Freedom
We are a non-user group specific organization that seeks to protect Florida's environment, people, and economy through responsible scientific, sociological, and ecological management.
 
 
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FWC Abuse of Charles Beckham
 
 
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FWC Abuse of Charles Beckham

In additon to the abuse below, the FWC decided to take Mr. Beckham's Blue Crab License away that he's had since it existed. Mr. Beckham had kept the license current in case of hard times. The FWC didn't care about the 72 year old or his hard times.

One of hundreds of Senior Citizens that the FWC has wrongfully abused.

Mr. Beckham's Backyard Fish House.

Meet Charles Beckham of Cedar Key, Florida. Charles was arrested three times with legal 500 square foot nets made of Legislatively approved materials. Charles was not arrested because of law, he was arrested because of “POLICY.” A jury found Mr. Beckham and his nets in legal compliance with Florida law and the constitution. Despite the jury’s decision, Charles was arrested two more times with the same legal type of nets. He has spent $18,000 that he can’t afford, to defend his innocence. The FWC made him purchase back his legally caught, confiscated fish for $100. In addition, the FWC has failed to return all three of Charles’s legal nets and an ice chest.

Mr. Beckham’s comments; “I hope I live long enough to see the FWC pay for what they’ve done to me. They’ve just about put me out of business.”

Mr. Beckham's small claims suit was dismissed because the statute of limitations ran out, but the FWC attorney promissed Mr. Beckham she would look into returning the fish cooler that two FWC officers borrowed from Mr. Beckham. The FWC officers borrowed the cooler to store fish confiscated after the arrest of another fisherman, but have never returned it to Mr. Beckham. It's been three weeks and Mr. Beckham hasn't heard a peep from the FWC attorney about his property. What a surprise. :(

UPDATE! New Charles Beckham Incident from late April, 2005

In late April of 2005, Mr. Beckham 72, was stopped by a young FWC officer that told him he couldn't go fishing with his net because it had too many holes in it. (Broken meshes.) The officer told Mr. Beckham that he was going to, "show him the law." Mr. Beckham, being familiar with the law, informed the Officer, "No you're not!" The officer called into his chief, and the chief told him to, "Give Mr. Beckham back his license and let him go." Now... "For the rest of the story!"

The very next day, the FWC officer put his airboat in the water at the same Cedar Key boatramp he had threatened to arrest Mr. Beckham at. One problem... The officer forgot to put the plug in and the airboat hull was filling with water. Instead of driving the boat up the ramp, the officer apparently decided to run the water out by aiming the boat toward the Gulf. We will leave it up to the reader to imagine how terribly upset (tongue in cheek) Mr. Beckham was, watching the officer proceed to plow the boat underwater with the engine running. The only evidence left in the Gulf that an airboat was once there was about an inch of the bow sticking out of the water. Thankfully, the officer was uninjured. For some reason, Mr. Beckham said that he felt even better than he day before. ;)

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