Immokalee man accused of illegally harvesting & transporting palmetto berries

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IMMOKALEE, Fla. — An Immokalee man has been arrested for harvesting and transporting palmetto berries without a permit.

According to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), on Friday night a deputy tried to pull over a white truck traveling 20 mph over the speed limit on CR-846 heading west. The truck evaded the deputy for nearly a half mile before pulling into the parking lot of a farm packing house at 808 East Main Street.

The driver identified as 29-year-old Delmar Vasquez-Ramirez refused to roll down his window or put his hands up, CCSO said.

According to the report, Vasquez-Ramirez and seven other people were taken out of the truck and detained.

Several bags of palmetto berries were found in the truck and Vasquez-Ramirez told deputies he did not have a legal permit to harvest the berries but that he was picking the berries for one of the other men in the truck who did have a permit, CCSO said.

According to the report, the man who allegedly possessed the permit told deputies that Vasquez-Ramirez was working for him. The man’s permit allowed him to harvest palmetto berries in Myakka City.

The direction the men were driving towards in Immokalee was considerably out of the way if they were allegedly heading back from Myakka City, CCSO said.

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According to CCSO, Vasquez-Ramirez told deputies they had been harvesting in a Hendry County area known as Pioneer. The man with the permit told deputies they were harvesting at a place approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes from where Delmar stated they were harvesting.

Vasquez-Ramirez has been charged with fleeing and eluding police, harvesting an endangered plant without a permit and driving without a valid license.

Vasquez was also charged with a warrant for violating probation out of Hillsborough County. He was taken to the Immokalee Jail.

The owner of the berries could not be identified a this time.

Tags: Collier County Sheriff’s Officehendry countyIllegal HarvestingImmokaleeMyakka Citypalmetto berriestransporting

 

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