A Miami man was arrested in the Florida Keys after authorities say he captured and killed a small green sea turtle from the beach and put it in his cooler.
Victor Martin Alvarez, 49, was arrested on a felony charge of violating the Marine Turtle Protection Act Saturday, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. He was being held without bond and it was unknown whether he has an attorney.
According to the FWC, Alvarez was spotted at Curry Hammock State Park near Marathon putting the turtle into the cooler by a concerned citizen, who called authorities.
When FWC officers arrived, they found Alvarez next to his cooler near the shoreline. Alvarez admitted he killed the turtle, which was found dead inside his cooler, the FWC said.
Witnesses said the turtle had been alive when they saw it placed inside the cooler, the FWC said.
Alvarez was arrested and booked into the Monroe County Jail. The turtle and cooler were seized as evidence.
The Marine Turtle Protection Act prohibits the destroying, selling or molesting of turtles, their eggs or nests.
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