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Big Pine Key Man Charged With Shooting and Killing Key Deer

BY KEVIN WADLOW 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 West Capt. Wickers Jr.’s Illegal Fish Sales Plea on April 21

A Key West charter boat captain’s change of plea will be heard on April 21 in Plantation Key after a scheduling conflict continued the matter last week. Key West charter Capt. William Osgood Wickers Jr., 42, of Big Coppitt Key, had been scheduled last week, but Judge William Ptomey had to reschedule. Wickers is charged…

Local Lobster Mobster Gets 1 year And Banned From Water for 5 years

By Kevin Wadlow A Miami man caught near Long Key with hundreds of lobster and a commercial trap-puller — but no commercial lobster licenses — was sentenced to a year in jail April 1. Jorge Vargas, 59, also was fined $28,680 and banned from Florida Keys waters during a five-year probation term following his…

Coral Mobsters get Prison Time

By Adam Linhardt Citizen Staff The operator of a large Miami-based marine life export business and a general manager at the same businesswere sentenced to prison Tuesday for falsifying documents to cover up delivery of live rock used in saltwater aquariums.Robert Kelton, operator of D.R. Imports, Inc., and general manager Bruce Brande were charged in…

Illegal Snook in Islamorada Leads to Multiple Charges

BY KEVIN WADLOW –  One dead snook at Channel Five in the Upper Keys resulted in six conservation charges against a St. Augustine man last Sunday. Ryan L. Wegele, 26, was booked into the Monroe County jail on Plantation Key for illegally spearing a snook, a game fish off-limits to spearfishing, according to the Florida…

Two Miami Men With Loggerhead Turtle tail – Charged With Felonies

BY WILLIAM AXFORD –  They might not have killed it, but two Miami men landed in the Keys jail Thursday when they were found with the tail of a loggerhead sea turtle in one of the men’s truck. David Hernandez Sordo, 48, and Pedro Suarez, 59, remained in the Monroe County Detention Center Friday, each charged…

Local Brothers Plead Guilty to Illegal Lobster Harvesting

By Adam Linhardt Citizen Staff  Three Lower Keys brothers accused of harvesting lobster from illegal artificial habitats known as casitas will likely serve six months in federal prison, and lose their crawfish licenses for life, after all three pleaded guilty in court Monday. Charles, Ryan and Tyson Veach each pleaded guilty to violating the Lacey Act,…

3 Lower Keys Brothers Expected to Plead Guilty – Lobster Mobsters

By Adam Linhardt – – Citizen Staff Three Lower Keys brothers accused of harvesting lobster from illegal artificial habitats are expected to plead guilty on Monday in federal court, according to court records. Charles, Ryan and Tyson Veach face allegations of harvesting spiny lobsters from casitas, catching more than their daily commercial bag limit…