FWC lieutenant honored by U.S. Attorney's Office
Monday, March 22, 2010
Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459
He would humbly tell you he was just doing his job. But
the federal government calls the marine conservation work of
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Lt. David
Last month, the United States Attorney's Office for
the Southern District of Florida honored Bingham, who heads a
patrol squad in Broward County, with an Outstanding Law Enforcement
Officer of the Year award. Federal, state or local law enforcement
officers who distinguish themselves by virtue of the work they
performed in a criminal prosecution receive the award.
"Winning this award is a highlight of my career,"
said Bingham. "It's rewarding to know that the federal
government recognized the FWC for our work in resource
The award recognized Bingham and NOAA Special Agent
James Rodriquez for their work in "Operation Mind Games." The
two worked together in 2005 to bust charter fishing vessels based
in North Miami Beach for illegally harvesting and landing
sailfish. The scheme also included an undisclosed deal
between the charter operation and a local taxidermy company to pay
the defendants for inducing anglers to sign contracts for mounting
the sailfish. The defendants in the case were sentenced in
"Lt. Bingham's expertise in dealing with state and
federal fisheries is a huge asset to our agency," said Bingham's
supervisor, Capt. Denise Warrick. "The cases he has been
involved with have brought a tremendous amount of revenue dollars
back to Florida. We are proud that he has been recognized by the
U.S. Attorney's Office for his efforts."
"Lt. David Bingham's efforts in this case not only
led to the conviction of a team of environmental criminals, but
resulted in restitution to hundreds of anglers, mostly tourists,
who had been scammed by the charter group," said Assistant U.S.
Attorney Thomas Watts-Fitzgerald, who prosecuted the case.
"The illegal landings and fraud on our state's visitors would
likely never have come to light and been subjected to both state
and federal scrutiny but for his dedication to resource protection.
The public should applaud and support such cooperative enforcement
efforts by the wildlife officers and agents of South Florida."