On Friday at 4:15 a.m. Deputy Seth Hopp spotted a Toyota Highlander northbound at 20th Street with a taillight and tag light out. He pulled the car over at 63rd Street. He asked the driver, 42 year old Juan Ortiz of Miami, for permission to search a cooler in the rear of the vehicle. Inside, he found 25 mangrove snapper. The bag limit for the snapper is five per person and there were three people in the car, so the allowable limit for all three people is 15 fish. Ortiz took responsibility for the cooler and, thus, for the fish inside. He was cited for having 10 fish over the limit. He received verbal warnings for the vehicle equipment violations.
Also on Friday, at 6:10 p.m., Deputy Wilfredo Guerra spotted a man at the 60 mile marker of the highway on the bayside wearing a mask, snorkel and fins without a dive flag. He stopped to check the man out and saw him spear a lobster and put it in his dive bag. The man was identified as Alexander Sanguinety of Cape Coral, Florida. Sanguinety received citations for possession of spiny lobster out of season and possession of speared spiny lobster.
Deputy Joshua Baer responded to Banana Bay Resort in Marathon Saturday shortly after midnight to a report of two men catching lobster in the marina. When he arrived, a witness said he and his girlfriend saw two men taking lobster from the water and putting them in a white mesh bag. He said one man stayed on the dock and located the lobster with a flashlight while the other man was in the water retrieving the lobster and putting them into the bag. The witness confronted the two men, who threw the bag off the dock into some bushes and began to walk away. The two men were still in the area when the deputy arrived and were identified by Deputy Baer as 33 year old Yasser Benavides-Cabreras and 41 year old Yunior Benavides. Both men are from Miami. Both men denied taking any lobster from the water, but Yasser’s shorts and the lower part of his back were wet.
Deputy Baer found the bag with three dead lobster inside where the witness said it was. Of the three lobster, two were undersized; two more lobster were found near the bag, barely alive. Yasser was issued two citations, one for three counts of possession of spiny lobster out of season and one for two counts possession of undersized spiny lobster.