News Releases

FWC arrests North Miami man accused of making false statement about boating accident

News Release

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Media contact: Officer Jorge Pino, 561-723-1417

Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission's (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement arrested a North Miami man Thursday, charging him with filing a false statement, a second-degree misdemeanor.  Willie L. Lawyer Jr. (DOB 02/16/67) was booked into the Miami-Dade County Jail early Thursday.

At the time of his arrest, Lawyer was wanted on an open warrant for six charges, including cocaine trafficking and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In a sworn statement, Lawyer told FWC investigators that he was involved in a boating accident Monday night off the Haulover Inlet.  He claimed his boat had collided with another boat and that three people were missing.  An exhaustive air and sea search by the FWC, Miami-Dade Police and the U.S. Coast Guard uncovered no evidence to support his statement.

"Making false statements is something the FWC and all law enforcement agencies will not tolerate," said FWC Maj. Alfredo Escanio.  "Lives are at stake when we divert our resources to a call that turns out to be a hoax, especially when we could be helping people in real need."

FWC Facts:
Anyone operating a vessel and willfully disregarding the safety of people or property will be cited for reckless operation (a 1st-degree misdemeanor).

Learn More at AskFWC