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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

Crab Trap Molesters Face up to 10 Years

On Wednesday, March 18, 2015, a Key West jury took less than two hours to find both Romualdo Ricardo Salado and Christopher J. Payne guilty of one count of Molestation of Another’s Stone Crab Trap by a Commercial Harvester.   Mr. Salado and Mr. Payne were found not guilty of a second count involving the same … Read more

Lobster Mobsters Caught with 46 Tails

Three men aboard a commercial boat headed into a Coco Plum canal in Marathon were arrested Saturday on charges of possessing 46 separated lobster tails. FWC Lt. David Robison and Officer Olly Adams conducted a catch inspection at 3:45 p.m. near Avenue A on Coco Plum. “A bag containing 46 wrung tails were found in a … Read more

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 … Read more

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 … Read more

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, … Read more

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 … Read more

Two Plead Guilty to Illegally Taking Keys Coral

Two Broward County men pleaded guilty Friday to selling rainbow-colored coral taken from protected waters in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and peddling it as legally imported from Haiti and the Dominican Republic. U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said Robert V. Kelton, 60, of Hollywood, and Bruce Brande, 59, of Cooper City, bought and sold … Read more