HOLMES BEACH -- Holmes Beach police are investigating a man accused of hiring a tree-trimming company to illegally cut sea grape trees.
According to police, the man had asked the city to trim the trees on several occasions over the past two years. The request had been denied by the city each time.
So, police say the man hired a tree-trimming service to trim the sea grape trees along the beach access on city property and on the neighboring property in the 4300 block of Second Avenue, police said.
Police said the trees were cut about 60 feet westward down the beach access, and several of the trees were cut down to about half their original size.
Few leaves were left on trees trimmed and cut down, and all that remains are the trunks and large bare branches, police said.
A criminal investigation is underway. In addition, police say possible violations of the Marine Turtle Protection Act are being investigated, as are possible violations of environmental laws.