By Timothy O'hara
Officers cited five people in two separate poaching cases this weekend.
Two men couldn't wait for the official start of spiny lobster mini-season and were caught taking lobsters off Ohio Key on Saturday. In another case, three Miami men were cited for having 58 more mangrove snappers than they were legally allowed.
Sheriff's deputies caught the men with 73 mangrove snappers - well over the five-per-person daily bag limit, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin.
Those cited with possessing fish over the daily bag limit were Shawn Francis Xavier Carrasquillo and Shaquille Francis, Herrin said.
Sheriff's dispatchers received information from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers about 2:30 a.m. Monday that a silver Honda Pilot was northbound in Key Largo and may be carrying a large number of mangrove snappers, also called grey snappers. Deputy Tony Conde stopped the car at Mile Marker 104.
Three men in the car told the deputies they had been on a "party boat" out of Marathon and had fish from the boat in two coolers in the car. They opened the coolers, showing the deputies 73 fish -- 58 more than the limit for three people, Herrin said.
All were ticketed and released.
In a separate incident, one Miami man was jailed and another was cited for several fishing violations after they were caught spearfishing and catching spiny lobsters off Ohio Key on Saturday, according to an FWC arrest report. More....