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Florida Resident Pleads Guilty to Importing Endangered Species from Bahamas
Sea turtle shells, spiny lobster tails and queen conch were all part of the illegal catch

Posted Friday, March 2, 2012

Florida Resident Pleads Guilty to Importing Endangered Species from Bahamas

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Glenn Bridges, 49, of Fort Pierce, pled guilty yesterday to Counts 1, 2 and 10 of an indictment, which counts charged him with conspiracy to possess and import wildlife, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371; importation into the United States of wildlife possessed and transported in violation of the laws of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, in violation of the Lacey Act, Title 16, United States Code, Sections 3372(a)(2)(A) and 3373(d)(1)(A); and making a false statement to the U.S. Coast Guard, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

Sentencing has been scheduled for May 21, 2012 at 10:30 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Donald L. Graham in Fort Pierce, Florida.

According to documents filed with the court and statements made during the plea, on November 17, 2011, Bridges attempted to import spiny lobster (Panulirus argus), Hawksbill sea turtle (Trachemys imbricate) shells, Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) shells, a Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) shell, and queen conch (Strombus gigus), all in violation of the possession limits established in the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of the Bahamas, specifically, the Fisheries Resources (Jurisdiction & Conservation) Regulations, Part X, Sections 47(1)(a), (b) and 48(1)(f). As part of his guilty plea, Bridges agreed to forfeit the illegal catch, which included approximately 155 spiny lobster tails, 4 Hawksbill sea turtle shells, 2 Loggerhead sea turtle shells, 1 Green sea turtle shell, and 34 queen conch.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, CBP, and FWC. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Norman O. Hemming, III.

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