Homestead resident Ernesto Rua and Marathon resident Raudel Rubio got carried away on an early-morning lobster hunt last weekend exceeding their legal limit of 12 total tails (six per person) by 320, authorities say.
Turns out that 304 of the spiny lobster tails were also under the legal size limit, which according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is the three-inch carapace when measured in the water.
The two men were arrested Sunday after bringing the lobster ashore near mile marker 54 and being searched by Monroe County Sheriff's Office Deputy Wilfredo Guerra.
They were each charged with possession of 332 wrung lobster tails (tails can't be wrung on the water) and possession of 304 undersized lobster tails.
According to Guerra's report, he saw Rua, 41, and Rubio, 26, coming ashore near the former Quay restaurant property around 4:10 a.m. Sunday. Their vessel had no lights on.
The report says once docked, Guerra saw Rua and Rubio carrying a gray plastic container toward a black SUV in the parking lot. Guerra approached the two men and asked to inspect the container.
The report says both men admitted to possessing all the tails; they were arrested. Rua and Rubio were jailed on $150,000 bond.
The lobster tails were turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to be kept in the agency's evidence facility.