Miami, Florida — Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers Mitchell Robb and Jeremy Foell arrested two men after they sensed something “fishy” during a traffic stop.
Officers stopped David Hernandez Sordo, 48, and Pedro Suarez, 59, after Sordo ran a red light while pulling a 24-foot-boat without tie-down straps.
While speaking with the individuals, Officer Foell noticed a bloody knife in the truck and asked if he could search the vehicle, to which Sordo agreed.
Upon searching the vehicle, officers found several sharks over the legal bag limit. However, what the officers found underneath the sharks earned the two men federal charges and a trip to jail.
The men had cut the tail off a loggerhead sea turtle and placed it in the cooler under the sharks. Sea turtles are a federally protected species.
The men stated, “The tail just floated past our boat, so we took it to use as bait.”
It was determined the turtle tail was fresh and had recently been removed from a turtle.
Sordo’s Ford pickup and his 24-foot-boat were impounded.
Sordo, a painter, and Suarez, a mechanic, both reside in Miami.. The men are originally from Cuba.
Both men were arrested and taken to the Munroe County Jail. They were charged with Destroying/Sell/Molest Sea Turtles/Eggs or Nests (F), and Possession of Sharks over the Bag-Limit (M).
Further charges are pending.