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Detective, deputy cited for illegal duck hunting

Four Inverness men, including a Citrus County sheriff's detective and deputy, were cited by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission last month for illegally hunting ducks on Hernando Pool, part of the Tsala Apopka Lake chain and north of Inverness.

Sheriff's Detective Richard Grant, 34, and sheriff's Deputy Robert Crosnoe, 35, each received tickets with $228 fines for hunting ducks after hours, said Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Karen Parker. Brad Bennett, 24, and James Brooks, 34, also were ticketed.

Duck hunting begins a half hour before sunrise and ends at sunset, according to Parker. But she said the four men cited hunted a half hour after sunset, about 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 14.

After receiving a complaint from someone who lives nearby, a Fish and Wildlife officer went to the area to investigate, Parker said. The officer found two of the men riding in one boat but was unable to locate three others who rode in another boat.

The next day, Parker said the brother of one of those three men called a Fish and Wildlife investigator. The caller said his brother and his brother's friends knew they were wrong and wanted to turn themselves in to clear up the matter, according to Parker.

However, Parker said the hunters did not turn in the fifth person who they claimed was not hunting. "He was basically just along for the ride," said Parker, who was unable to identify the man Tuesday afternoon.

Sheriff Jeff Dawsy spoke with both Grant and Crosnoe about the hunting incident, said sheriff's spokeswoman Gail Tierney.

Dawsy acknowledged that "they had not used the best of judgment," Tierney said, but ultimately he decided further discipline from his agency was not in order.

Crosnoe, who came to the Sheriff's Office in 1998, served a 30-day suspension in 1999 for not properly investigating and documenting an attempted residential burglary. He also was disciplined after he failed to respond to a subpoena and for improperly handling a service weapon.

_ Suzannah Gonzales can be reached at 860-7312 or sgonzalessptimes.com.

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