Fort Myers man arrested for illegally harvesting palmetto berries, driving with suspended license

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — A Fort Myers man was arrested for illegally harvesting palmetto berries without a permit and driving on a suspended license Friday night.

According to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), at around 7:06 p.m. a deputy began pursuing a truck speeding on SR-29 just south of SR-82. The truck stopped abruptly, and the driver informed the deputy that they had no driver’s license, registration or proof of insurance.

The man later identified as 25-year-old Guadalupe Guerrero refused to give deputies his name and date of birth. Guerrero was detained by deputies.

The passenger in the truck was identified as 27-year-old David Diego. Large rice bags were seen by deputies in the vehicle and appeared to contain Saw Palmetto Berries. Diego told deputies he did not have a permit required to have the berries. Guerrero refused to answer deputies about his possession of a permit, CCSO said.

According to the report, Guerrero was taken to jail and a background check confirmed his license as suspended for multiple prior violations related to DUI.

Guerrero was issued a traffic citation and charged with harvesting an endangered plant without a permit.

The owner of the berries could not be identified. The berries were taken to the Collier County Landfill for disposal.

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