TAMPA, Florida -- Hillsborough County deputies have arrested a man who may be responsible for the theft of sea turtle eggs on Casey Key.
"Mr. Feaste dug up a portion of the nest and was located with his hand in the nest," said Officer Baryl Martin of Florida Fish & Wildlife.
Kim Raymond Feaste, 21, of Wesley Chapel has been released from the Hillsborough County Jail on a $2,000 bond. He's charged with possession of a sea turtle, a third degree felony.
Although Feaste has not been officially charged with the egg theft, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission (FWC) believes he is the person responsible.
FWC released photos taken by a witness of Feaste allegedly stealing sea turtle eggs, which were released to the public for identification.
Authorities tracked him down to an apartment in Tampa where they found he had a live loggerhead turtle.
"It's extremely illegal in the State of Florida to possess a sea turtle," said Ofc. Baryl.
Last week, the FWC asked for the public's help in identifying a man who they say disturbed a sea turtle nest on August 13. When confronted by a photographer, the man allegedly claimed he was collecting turtle eggs to be released later when they hatched.
Sea turtles, their eggs, and their nests are protected under state and federal law. Destroying a sea turtle nest or eggs is a third-degree felony, punishable by up to a $5,000 fine and/or five years in prison.
10 News went to Feaste's home, but he would not come to the door to answer questions about why he allegedly had a loggerhead in his apartment or why he authorities believe he stole sea turtle eggs.
He did respond to 10 News' report of his arrest of Facebook, commenting simply, "This is false."
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