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Monroe County state attorney honored at FWC meeting

News Release

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Media contact: Susan Smith, 850-528-1755

(Back to Commission meeting news)

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) recognized Monroe County Assistant State Attorney Colleen Dunne on Thursday at its Commission meeting in Key Largo.

Dunne, who has worked in the Monroe County State Attorney's Office since 2000, was selected as the 2010 Prosecutor of the Year by the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement.

She has prosecuted many cases, with an impressive conviction rate.

During the past year, she successfully prosecuted several trap-molestation cases. It is a felony to rob or interfere with any crab or lobster trap, trap line or buoy without permission of that license holder. In one particularly high-profile case, two men were convicted, sentenced to nine months in jail, charged thousands of dollars in fines and had their commercial fishing licenses permanently revoked.

"Trap robbing can prevent commercial fishermen from successfully catching saltwater products to earn a profit, which also affects small businesses," said Bud Vielhauer, general counsel for the FWC. "Dunne has sent a strong message to the commercial fishing industry that the FWC and state of Florida are working hard to protect the hard-earned income of law-abiding fishermen."

Dunne is known for working closely with FWC officers and being available at any time of the day or night. She has high expectations of law enforcement officers, demanding quality evidence, such as numerous photographs, detailed, well-written witness statements and precise electronic navigational information.

"Ms. Dunne has established herself as a true asset to all law enforcement agencies in the county," Vielhauer said. "She is a valued partner to the FWC in the protection of Florida's resources and people."

FWC Facts:
It is common for closely related species such as bluegill (bream) and redear sunfish (shellcracker) to hybridize or spawn with each other.

Learn More at AskFWC