On Friday, Oct. 13, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have filed multiple charges against Elijah Pasquale Quaranta, 32, of Panama City, and William Charles Quaranta, 73, of Wewahitchka.
The charges followed the arrest of Elijah Quaranta on Sept. 20 for multiple poaching violations and were the result of a thorough investigation in Gulf and Jackson counties that lasted several months.
On May 4, FWC officers and investigators received a complaint related to the illegal take of wildlife, including deer, alligator and bobcat. Based on the information provided, the FWC obtained search warrants for Elijah Quaranta’s property in Bay County and Charles Quaranta’s property in Gulf County.
Additionally, FWC officers obtained an arrest warrant for Elijah Quaranta. The warrants were simultaneously executed on Sept. 20.
In the weeks following the search, FWC officers conducted interviews, reviewed the evidence, and worked with both the Jackson and Gulf County assistant state attorneys to file charges.
“Over the course of the investigation, we were shocked by the complete lack of regard for wildlife the subjects displayed,” said FWC Deputy Director of North Operations Lt. Col. Randy Bowlin. “Because a concerned citizen reached out to us and the excellent work the officers on this case did to compile evidence, these two men will now have to answer for their abuse of the resources we work so hard to protect.”
The FWC is working cooperatively with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to file charges in Georgia for both defendants for the falsification and forgery of bear and deer tags, reporting violations, taking deer over the limit and taking bobcat during closed season.T
he public can report a suspected wildlife violation by downloading the “FWC Wildlife Alert” app, texting 847411 (Tip411) with keyword “FWC” and information about the violation, calling the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (888-404-3922) or submitting a tip online at MyFWC.com/WildlifeAlert.