Florida Keys News
Saturday, July 12, 2014
FWC: 2 men arrested with 100 lobster tails

State wildlife officers nabbed two men with more than 100 out-of-season lobster Thursday, including one who has a trap robbing case already pending.

Manuel Ruiz Lorenzo, 34, and Sergio Gomez Lastra, 28, both of Marathon, were charged with possession of lobster out of season, possession of wrung tails on the water, possession of undersized lobster, and using a speargun to take lobster, which is illegal year round.

Lastra has pending felony trap molestation stemming from a 2011 arrest, according to court records.

According to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports, an FWC officer spotted both men snorkeling near a boat near Sawyer Key north of Cudjoe Basin gulfside at 4:20 p.m.

The officer watched as Lastra occasionally surfaced and toss what appeared to be lobster tails to Ruiz-Lorenzo, who was in the boat, reports state. The officer watched as about 24 lobster tails changed hands over the course of 10 minutes.

When officers approached, Lastra dropped a yellow spear and began pulling three bags from the boat and dropping them into the water, reports state.

Officers donned snorkel gear and retrieved a mesh bag containing lobster tails hanging from the boat's propeller among other lobster.

In all, officers reportedly recovered 102 lobsters, 95 of which were wrung tails, 24 of which were undersized and 23 of which were speared, reports state. They also found one whole undersized lobster.

Both men were taken to Monroe County Detention Center on Stock Island.

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