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Two men accused of taking 485 turtle eggs from North Hutchinson Island

Posted at 5:47 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-25 09:52:47-04

Two men face charges in St. Lucie County after 485 sea turtle eggs were taken from North Hutchinson Island, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

FWC officials said they received a tip a few weeks ago of suspicious activity near the Blind Creek Boat Ramp in St. Lucie County.

"Law enforcement and our investigators were monitoring that beach this morning and they observed the two subjects on the beach in the act of removing the eggs and they were found to be in possession of approximately 500 eggs," said Carol Lyn Parrish, FWC spokeswoman.

At Loggerhead Marinelife Center in Juno Beach, Dr. Justin Perrault says it's rare to have a poaching event.

"All kind of protections and monitoring going on with these animals," says Perrault.

He says Loggerheads are considered threatened and stealing sea turtle eggs is a serious crime.

"Poaching is a big deal. We want to make sure these animals that are on a road to recovery continue to recover," says Perrault.

The two men have been identified by FWC as Raymond L. Saunders, 50, and Carl Cobb, 60, of Riviera Beach.

Both have been taken to the St. Lucie County Jail and will be charged with two counts of a third-degree felony for possessing and disturbing marine turtle eggs.

During a Thursday morning court hearing, both of the men's bonds were set at $30,000.