Two men arrested by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers received stiff penalties after pleading guilty to robbing lobster traps in the Florida Keys.
On March 26, Frank Guerra (DOB 10/30/70) of Key Largo and Alberto Rodriguez (DOB 06/26/63) of Homestead pleaded guilty to three counts of trap molesting by a commercial harvester, a felony. Guerra also pleaded guilty to two counts of improper display of a dive placard, a misdemeanor.
The court ordered the permanent suspension of all fishing licenses for both men, and they are not allowed on Monroe County waters during a probation period of two years. Also, Guerra was sentenced to nine months in jail; Rodriguez was sentenced to six months in jail.
In addition to these penalties, Guerra had to surrender his 21-foot Gulfstream vessel and dive-related gear.
“Trap molesting is a serious problem in Monroe County,” said FWC Maj. Alfredo Escanio, regional commander. “The FWC will continue its ongoing efforts to arrest and prosecute these violators.”