A Miami man is facing felony charges for allegedly killing a green sea turtle last week at Curry Hammock State Park near Marathon.
Witnesses told a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission official they witnessed Victor Martin Alvarez, 49, pick up the small turtle and place it in his cooler. The witnesses said the turtle was still alive when Alvarez put it in his cooler.
When Alvarez was approached at the ocean-side park he admitted he killed the turtle, said Officer Robert Dube, an FWC spokesman. The age of the turtle is unknown.
McDaniel arrested Alvarez and seized his cooler and the turtle as evidence. Alvarez is being held in Key West jail on $50,000 bond. It’s unclear what he planned to do with the turtle.
Sea turtles are federally protected under the Marine Turtle Protection Act.