October 21, 2014

Miami man repeatedly arrested for lobster violations, faces high bond

Deputy Wilfredo Guerra with illegally caught tails

A Miami man was arrested Saturday, charged with having undersized wrung lobster tails. The man has been arrested multiple times over the past few years on the same type of violations.

Deputy Wilfredo Guerra was on patrol at 4 a.m. near Fiesta Key Marina on the bayside when he spotted a white Carolina skiff with one male occupant. The man appeared to be pulling traps, then wringing lobster tails and placing them into a mesh bag. As the deputy watched, the man threw two bags full of wrung tails onto the shoreline from his boat, then returned to the bay where he continued pulling traps.

At 6 a.m., Deputy Guerra watched the man repeat the process of pulling up to shore, wringing tails and throwing bags of tails onto the shore.

Deputy Guerra measures undersized lobster tails
The man – identified as 59 year old Jorge Vargas of Miami – then drove his vessel to the marina and docked it. He got into a black Ford Ranger truck and drove to the shoreline to pick up the bags of lobster. At that point, Deputy Guerra confronted him.

Vargas was caught with 267 wrung tails. Out of those, 246 were undersized. He was cited for possession of undersized lobster, possession of over the limit lobster and possession of wrung lobster tails. Vargas was booked into jail on the charges.

A records check revealed Vargas had been cited two times before during the past three years in the Florida Keys; those previous cases also involved possession of over 300 wrung tails and with possessing stone crab out of season.

While Vargas was being held in jail, a warrant was issued for him Monday for failure to appear in court for one of the previous cases from 2011. The judge set bond on the warrant at $1.4 million. 

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