Florida Keys

He was caught with undersized fish, cops say. That was just the start of his troubles.

Jovanni Lazaro Cabrera
Jovanni Lazaro Cabrera

A Homestead man faces felony and misdemeanor drug charges after state wildlife officers checked his coolers in the Keys and found several undersized fish, as well as marijuana and pills, according to an arrest report.

Jovanni Lazaro Cabrera, 30, was booked Sunday evening into Monroe County jail on a $7,000 bond on a felony possession of a controlled substance charge, as well as misdemeanor marijuana possession and misdemeanor drug paraphernalia possession charges, along with three conservation charges.

Two Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers searched his coolers on the south end of the Channel 5 Bridge on Long Key around 6 p.m. Sunday. Inside the coolers, the officers found one undersized mangrove snapper, three undersized mutton snappers and three undersized yellowtail snappers, according to FWC Investigator Paul Hein’s report.

Hein stated he smelled a “strong odor of marijuana emanating” from Cabrera. He searched Cabrera and found two small bags of marijuana and a pill that turned out to be acetaminophen and oxycodone hydrochloride, according to the arrest report.

Another man with Cabrera, Miguel Angel Solis, also of Homestead, was cited with three conservation charges, according to Hein’s report.

FWC officers and Monroe County sheriff’s deputies were busy checking for conservation violations Sunday on the eve of the regular commercial and recreational lobster season, which began Monday. FWC officers made at least four other conservation busts Sunday, according to a check of county jail inmates.

On Saturday night, sheriff’s deputies arrested a Miami Beach man on several violations, including possessing nine out-of-season lobsters after they stopped him diving without a dive flag near the Long Key Bridge. He also faces charges for spearfishing for eight of the lobsters, which is illegal anywhere in the Keys.

And, Sunday evening, deputies arrested a Miami man on one count of possession of undersized mangrove snappers and another count for possession of 15 mangrove snappers over the bag limit.

080518 Mangrove Snapper Arrest photo 2.jpg
Undersized mangrove snapper are displayed in the back of a pickup truck Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018, in the Middle Keys. MCSO

Lazaro Ricardo Donet Delgado, 31, was fishing on the Tom’s Harbor Channel Bridge in the Middle Keys when a deputy searched his catch around 5:45 p.m. Sunday, according to Monroe sheriff’s spokesman Adam Linhardt. He kept 20 mangroves, which is 15 more than he is allowed. Fifteen of the fish were smaller than the 10-inch minimum size for keepers, Linhardt said.

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