A Miami Lakes man, previously cited seven times for the same violation, was ordered to pay $7,500 Thursday for speeding in a Biscayne Bay manatee zone, the Department of Justice announced.
Aristides Lorenzo Rodriguez, 43, was also ordered one year probation for being in violation of the Endangered Species Act, authorities said. In addition, he must perform 100 hours of community service related to protecting manatees, complete a safe boating course, and is prohibited from engaging in boating activities during business hours Sunday through Thursday unless they are related to his commercial business.
“Southern Florida is home to many unique habitats, environments and wildlife,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer. “Our job is to help protect and promote the health of our unique ecosystems by enforcing the laws meant to keep these safe.”
Rodriquez’s last speeding stunt caused excessive wake in Norris Cut in a Slow Speed Minimum Wake Manatee Zone, according to court documents. Authorities said Rodriguez was also cited twice within 20 minutes in October 2011.
“Mr. Rodriguez is a habitual zone violator who knew about the restrictions but chose to ignore them,” said Andrew Aloise, Resident Agent in Charge for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Groveland, Florida Office.
The $7,500 will go toward the Lacey Act Reward Fund for conservation efforts.