New Florida Shark Finning Ban Bill Signed

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a watered-down bill initially proposed to stop the shark finning trade in Florida. The bill, signed Tuesday 5/23/17, does increase penalties for shark finning and codifies a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rule prohibiting this practice, but does not go as far as shark conservation groups wanted. The original […]
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Wildlife Mobster Arrested on Snapper Charges in Islamorada

A 37-year-old Hialeah man accused of poaching snappers Friday, Nov. 27, while fishing from a bridge was arrested by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer. The man was charged with possession of undersized yellowtail snapper, possession of undersized mangrove snapper and possession of undersized schoolmaster snapper, all of which put him over the […]
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Wildlife Mobster Trial for Sea Turtle Mutilation and More Nears

A Marathon man who was caught with a mutilated, endangered sea turtle last spring, along with possessing undersized stone crab claws and lobster out of season, is set to have his day in court this month. Serguei Perez-Perdomo, 38, was arrested May 8, 2014. after he was reportedly found with 212 out-of-season lobster, 12 stone […]
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Local Lobster Mobster Continues Violations – Arrested Again

A Summerland Key [Lobster Mobster] fisherman [in the past he has been identified as from Big Pine Key] arrested in October 2014 for lobster fishing with hundreds of illegal traps was arrested again Thursday for lying on a wildlife form about his marine violation history, according to court records. Lobster Mobster – David Lee Boggs, […]
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Marathon Lobster Mobster Jailed for 121 Illegal Lobster

More than 100 marine-resource conservation counts were filed against a Marathon man late Monday after law officers surprised a boat making a nocturnal landing. Jose Carlos Acosta Arias, 37, was carrying a mesh bag with 77 wrung lobster tails when he stepped off a “blacked-out vessel” near the oceanside of 74th Street in Marathon, reported […]
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FWC Law Enforcement Weekly Report 9-18 to 9-24

SOUTH REGION B – MONROE COUNTY Lieutenant Payne along with Officers Piekenbrock and Martino were on routine water patrol in Waltz Key Basin north of Key West. Shortly after sunset the officers noticed a small skiff returning from offshore with no running lights. The officers followed undetected until they were in close proximity of the skiff. […]
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2 Arrested in Islamorada-Taking Moray Eel – Undersize Sharks

A state marine officer found two undersized nurse sharks and a dead moray eel while inspecting a catch made from an Islamorada dock Thursday. Officer Paul Hein of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spotted several people fishing off a private dock near Tea Table Key around 3 p.m. Hein saw two nurse sharks, […]
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FWC Nab Wildlife Mobsters in Fishing Bust Off Key Largo

  Four Homestead men aboard a 15-foot skiff off North Key Largo were arrested Sunday on multiple conservation charges Sunday, state marine officers report. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers recovered a mesh bag from the bottom of Angelfish Creek, agency spokesman Officer Bobby Dube said. The bag held undersized lobster, snapper and grouper. […]
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Wildlife Mobsters – Turtle-tail Men Due in Court This Month

Two Miami men who were caught with the tail of an endangered loggerhead sea turtle in Marathon in January are scheduled to appear before County Judge Ruth Becker Aug. 27 for a hearing. Possessing sea turtles or any part of them is against the law. Sea-turtle activists in the Florida Keys are urging Assistant State […]
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Big Pine Key Lobster Mobster to Surrender 400 Trap Certs

A Big Pine Key fisherman arrested in October for lobster fishing with hundreds of illegal traps was ordered Thursday to surrender 400 traps, effectively cutting his fishing capabilities in half, according to court records. David Lee Boggs, 51, was ultimately charged with more than 100 counts of misdemeanor fishing without proper tags after state wildlife officers […]
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SW FLA Divers Blast Lawyer Accused of Lobster Poaching

Jon Hazelbaker captures a legal lobster on a patch reef off Big Pine Key. The Fort Myers Beach resident and researchers say lobsters are scarce in the Keys, but commercial fishermen say the popular crustaceans are plentiful.(Photo: Kevin Lollar/The News-Press) With all the lawyer jokes out there, Fort Myers attorney Steven Koeppel didn’t do his […]
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Local Lobster Mobsters Sentenced

Three [Lobster Mobsters] fishermen convicted of robbing lobster traps and possession of undersized lobsters in June stemming from their September 2011 arrest were banned from commercial lobster fishing for life and two of them were given prison time. The captain of the Marathon-based commercial lobster fishing vessel Classy Lady, Nelson Rojas, was convicted of trap […]
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Law Enforcement Cracking Down Harder on Lobster Mobsters

By KEVIN WADLOW When lobster-resource violations reach the egregious point, Florida Keys prosecutors “will take it very, very seriously,” State Attorney Catherine Vogel cautions. “All those people out there for lobster mini-season next week need to be aware they cannot take undersized lobster, wring tails on the water or spear lobster,” Vogel said Tuesday. “A lobster can […]
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Hooked Lobster Brings Charges at Tavernier Creek

A Miami man reeled in a lobster at Tavernier Creek, leading to a Wednesday case filed by the FWC. Robert R. Harden, 21, was booked on three conservation counts. FWC Officer Chris Mattson was on road patrol at Tavernier Creek at mile marker 91 when he “observed a man fishing in an unorthodox method,” Dube […]
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Tennessee Man With 63 Illegal Lobster = 156 Criminal Charges

BY KEVIN WADLOW kwadlow@keynoter.com A Tennessee man found off Key West with 63 lobster tails was booked into jail on 156 resource conservation counts Thursday, state marine officers report. Charles J. Emanuel, 38, of Signal Mountain was snorkeling off a canoe at the Sigsbee Ledge, a few hundred feet from a U.S. Navy campground, according […]
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FWC: Miami Man Rode Sea Turtle in the Florida Keys

BY KEVIN WADLOW kwadlow@keynoter.com Marine officers apparently have video of Carlos Hernandez riding the turtle. Riding a sea turtle and spearing a shark near Conch Key put a Miami man in jail Sunday, state marine officers report. Carlos A. Hernandez, 31, was booked into the Monroe County jail on five misdemeanor conservation counts — and […]
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Alleged Turtle Molester Arrested – And more Wildlife Molesters

Tuesday, July 14, 2015 Law enforcement had a busy Sunday, arresting two men for spearfishing illegally including one who was allegedly harassing a sea turtle, and chasing a fleeing vehicle through the Key Haven subdivision. In the turtle case, a passerby on the south end of the Long Key Bridge noticed a man and woman taking […]
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Lobster Mobster Yasmany Escalona of Hialeah Arrested

21-year-old Hialeah man was arrested Sunday on multiple lobster-related charges after FWC officers found him illegally spearing lobster near Banana Bay Resort in Marathon, Dipre said. Yasmany Escalona was charged with felony tampering with evidence after diving and burying a bag of wrung tails in the mud after officers spotted him Sunday morning, Dipre said. […]
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Big Pine Key Man Charged With Shooting and Killing Key Deer

BY KEVIN WADLOW kwadlow@keynoter.com A Big Pine Key man confessed to the Friday shooting death of an endangered Key deer, state wildlife officers report. Grant M. Wilson, 33, was arrested Saturday on a felony count of killing a protected species. Officer Jeremy Foell of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated. “Mr. Wilson advised […]
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Key Largo Locals Arrested – Illegally Catching Lobsters

A father and son from Key Largo are facing charges after illegally catching lobsters near Tom’s Harbor Cut Bridge on Wednesday. Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was looking down from the bridge at about 1:45 p.m. when he noticed the two men as they were spearing, wringing and placing the tails of lobsters into a blue mesh […]
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