Agricultural Crimes Unit


Contact info:  (772) 220-7160

The Agricultural Crimes Unit, aka "Ranch and Grove", is assigned to the West County Operations Division, an area populated by cattle ranches, farms, citrus groves and waterways.  These detectives not only patrol these areas, but investigate all criminal cases involving theft of farm equipment and livestock. They are also responsible for tracking and arresting trespassers involved in illegal hunting, fishing, poaching and picking wild mushrooms to make illegal drugs.

Agricultural detectives also respond to major manhunts for fugitives and lost or missing person searches.  Their knowledge of the great outdoors and nature, along with their expertise in tracking, allows them to follow old or stale 'sign'.  This becomes invaluable in rural and rugged areas of Martin County along with urban areas.

The Sheriff's Posse is assigned to the Agricultural Crimes Unit, as several ranchers and farmers are members of this elite group of sworn special deputies.

Agricultural Crimes Detective Ben Fennell patrols rural, unaccessible areas of Martin County, investigates criminal activity, coordinates the Sheriff's Posse and supports West County Operations.

Detective Ben Fennell, Agricultural Crimes Investigator 
befennell@sheriff.martin.fl.us
(772) 260-5604

Detective Joe Passanesi, Environmental Crimes Investigator
jspassanesi@sheriff.martin.fl.us
(772) 220-7160