ST. LUCIE COUNTY, FL (CBS12) -- A Riviera Beach man was jailed on suspicion of poaching 299 sea turtle eggs from Diamond Sands Beach, off A1A on Friday night.
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that a concerned citizen called FWC after she saw a man stealing sea turtle eggs from the beach. She provided a description of the man and his vehicle.
FWC agents responded to the scene and spoke with James Odel McGriff, 55. Using a tracking dog to find out where he'd been, the agents found a disturbed sea turtle nest and a backpack full of sea turtle eggs.
FWC reports McGriff has been arrested for this crime before. In 2002, FWC says he was arrested for selling 12 eggs to an undercover officer and possessing 27 dozen pre-bagged eggs for sale.
McGriff was arrested and booked into the St. Lucie County jail, where he faces potential federal charges as FWC and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigate.
Officers kept 12 of the eggs as evidence and worked with a biologist to rebury the rest, according to the Sun Sentinel.
Under the Marine Turtle Protection Act, it is illegal to injure, harm, harass, capture or attempt to capture any marine turtles, eggs or nests. Suspected violations should be relayed to FWC's Wildlife Alert hotline at 888-404-3922 or email Tip@MyFWC.com. For more information visit MyFWC.com/SeaTurtle.
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