By Casey Toner
A man was sentenced to five months in federal prison on Monday for killing an endangered sea turtle last year at Cedar Point Pier in Mobile County.
U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. "Ginny" Granade also sentenced Charles Edward Mallory to one year of supervised release and ordered him to undergo mandatory drug testing and substance abuse treatment.
Mallory hooked the Kemp's ridley sea turtle on Aug. 7, 2014 and a witness told him to release it. Instead, he killed the exotic creature and put it in his cooler in violation of the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Attorney's office stated in a press release that the turtle could have survived in the wild for decades "hopefully breeding regularly and providing future generations."
"These sea turtles are a valuable resource that needs to be protected to help this species survive and flourish," the press release stated.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, adult Kemp's ridleys are considered the smallest marine turtle in the world.
"Adult Kemp's primarily occupy 'neritic' habitats," the NOAA states. "Neritic zones typically contain muddy or sandy bottoms where prey can be found. Their diet consists mainly of swimming crabs, but may also include fish, jellyfish, and an array of mollusks."
Kemp's ridleys are also the only sea turtle species that nest predominantly during daylight hours.
This case was investigated by the Dauphin Island Police Department, the Alabama Department of Conservation, Marine Resource Division and NOAA, Office of Law Enforcement in Niceville, Fla.