A Marathon man allegedly butchered a sea turtle for its meat, and is also accused of catching more than 200 out-of-season lobsters and undersized stone crab claws.
Serguei Perez-Perdomo, 37, was in Monroe County jail on Friday on a felony turtle handling charge and three misdemeanor saltwater fishing violations.
The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says one of its deputies, after receiving a tip, found Perez-Perdomo's cooler with the lobsters, crab claws and turtle carcass sitting in the mangroves at the south end of the Ohio-Missouri Bridge Thursday morning.
Deputy Wilfredo Guerra waited for Perez-Perdomo to return to the location where the cooler was hidden. Perez-Perdomo pulled up to the area in his Toyota Camry a short time later, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Becky Herrin said.
Guerra watched Perez-Perdomo put the cooler into the trunk of the car. Deputy Guerra then followed the Camry as it traveled north on U.S. 1. He radioed ahead to Deputy Orlando Alvarez, asking him to stop the Camry once it entered Marathon.
The vehicle was stopped and Deputy Guerra confronted Perez-Perdomo about the cooler hed placed in his trunk. Perez-Perdomo admitted it was his, along with the contents. Inside the cooler was the butchered turtle meat, along with 212 lobster tails, all of them out of season. 145 of them were undersized. There were 12 stone crab claws, two of which were undersized, Herrin said.
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