A Marathon man is facing more than 300 conservation violations after police say they found almost 200 wrung lobster tails in the trunk of his car and 150 of them were undersized.
A Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputy pulled over Yordy Escalante Carrillo, 25, around 10:20 p.m. Tuesday on U.S. 1 in Marathon for an “unreadable tag,” Deputy Michael Maleta wrote in his report.
Malata wrote that he smelled a strong odor of burnt marijuana coming from inside the 2008 Dodge Avenger. Deputies did not find any drugs in the car, but they did find a Rubbermaid container packed with lobster tails.
All of the lobsters were speared, according to the arrest report, and almost all were undersized. It is illegal to spearfish for lobsters in the Keys.
“Carrillo admitted the lobsters were his. Carrillo admitted to catching all the lobsters that night,” said Adam Linhardt, a spokesman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. “Carrillo admitted to spearing the lobsters. Carrillo stated he did not have a commercial fishing license.”
Carrillo’s bond information was not immediately available.
Each conservation violation is a second-degree misdemeanor, however, State Attorney Dennis Ward said 100 undersized lobster tails collectively moves the charge to a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison or a $5,000 fine.
Also, each second degree misdemeanor is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine, Ward said.
Ward has made strongly prosecuting fisheries violations a priority for his office,
“We need to send a strong message,” he said.