West Palm Beach Man Pleads Guilty to Poaching Sea Turtle Eggs

Saturday, Mar 29, 2014  |  Updated 2:15 PM EDT
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Man Pleads Guilty to Poaching Sea Turtle Eggs

Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images

A loggerhead sea turtle hatchling

A South Florida man has pleaded guilty to poaching more than 300 sea turtle eggs.

The U.S. Attorney's Office reports that 52-year-old Kenneth Cornelius Coleman pleaded guilty Friday to one count of unlawfully transporting endangered sea turtle eggs. He faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities say Coleman took 316 sea turtle eggs from nests in Juno Beach over two days last July. The poaching was discovered by employees at a sea turtle rescue center, who were able to rebury 219 eggs found in canvas bags on the beach. Another 97 eggs discovered by police the next day were also reburied.

Witnesses identified the poacher as Coleman. He previously spent 30 months in jail for transporting endangered sea turtle eggs in 2010.

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