Two Hialeah Men Found With 468 Illegally Harvested Lobster Tails: FWC

A total of 283 lobsters were undersized and one was an egg-bearing female, which is always illegal to harvest in the state, authorities said.

By Lisa Orkin Emmanuel
|  Saturday, Jun 8, 2013  |  Updated 11:13 AM EDT
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2 Lobster Poachers Arrested in Miami-Dade: FWC

FWC

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Two Hialeah men were arrested after they were found with 468 illegally harvested lobster tails, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said.

Vergel Javiel, 37, and Menendez Casana Eriel, 39, both faces several misdemeanor charges including possession of lobster tails out of season. It wasn't immediately known if they had attorneys. They were arrested on June 2.

“They grossly exceeded the daily bag limit of six lobsters per person per day, which is in effect during the regular lobster season: Aug. 6 through March 31. Also, lobster must remain in whole condition. Separating the tail from the body before bringing the lobster ashore is prohibited,” the FWC said in an email statement.

A total of 283 lobsters were undersized and one was an egg-bearing female, which is always illegal to harvest in the state, authorities said.

They also had an undersized stone crab claw and a queen conch. Wildlife officials said it’s not stone crab season and queen conch are illegal to possess in Florida waters.

Wildlife officials got a tip from local law enforcement that two men were acting suspiciously while loading a boat onto a trailer at the boat ramp on Watson Island.

When authorities investigated, they found a garbage bag filled with lobster tails. Wildlife officials responded and inspected, they found more bags with lobster tails on the boat.

“The possession of more than 450 illegally harvested lobster tails is a serious violation,” said FWC Maj. Alfredo Escanio, regional commander. “This incident demonstrates how strong working relationships with other law enforcement agencies can help the FWC protect our natural resources. The FWC will work to catch any individuals, like these, who purposely violate the rules and regulations in place to protect these precious resources.”
 

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