Man caught, ate two conchs in Key West, cops say. The decision landed him behind bars

Conch fritters and cracked conch are common menu merchandise in South Florida. But the queen conch served in the condition is commonly harvested in the Bahamas, and not caught below — or at the very least it should not be.

Harvesting queen conch, which is a safeguarded species in Florida and in consideration to be stated as “threatened” beneath the Endangered Species Act, can be a 3rd-degree felony in the state, as a Essential West person identified out late last week.

Burley David Smith, 67, was arrested Friday by state fish and wildlife officers who say he caught and ate two queen conchs on Wisteria Island, an undeveloped island just off Critical West frequented by homeless individuals.

As of Tuesday, Smith remained in Monroe County jail, held on a bond of $21,500 on a person felony count of harvesting queen conchs, a misdemeanor charge for harvesting the conchs and a different misdemeanor cost of resisting arrest without the need of violence.

Information about his legal representation was not right away available.

3 Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers were being sent to the island to react to stories a individual was catching and having queen conch, claimed agency spokeswoman Arielle Callender.

When they arrived, Callender observed a witness informed them Smith caught the conchs, cooked the sea snails and ate them at his camp internet site.

The officers spoke with Smith, who they said was “argumentative and refused to cooperate.” When the officers advised Smith he was staying detained, “he grew to become combative and was positioned less than arrest,” Callender explained.

The officers went to his campsite and discovered two empty queen conch shells up coming to a pot and hearth, Callender included.

For more information on queen conch and other fisheries laws in Florida, go myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/marine-daily life.