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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Two Riviera Beach Men Sentenced for Stealing Sea Turtle Eggs

Two Riviera Beach men were sentenced to prison for stealing sea turtle eggs from a St. Lucie County beach. 

Benjamin G. Greenberg, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Andrew Aloise, Resident Agent in Charge Florida, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Major Olin Rondeau, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Southern Region, made the announcement. 

Carl Lawrence Cobb, 60, of Riviera Beach, was convicted of two counts of transporting sea turtle eggs for the purpose of sale, in violation of the Lacey Act, Title 16, United States Code, Sections 3372(a)(1) and 3373(d)(1)(B). U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra sentenced Cobb to 7 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay $227 in restitution to the State of Florida. 

Raymond Saunders, 50, also of Riviera Beach, was convicted of one count of transporting sea turtle eggs for the purpose of sale, in violation of the Lacey Act, Title 16, United States Code, Sections 3372(a)(1) and 3373(d)(1)(B).  Judge Marra sentenced him to 7 months in prison, followed by 2 years of supervised release, and ordered him to pay restitution in the amount of $227 to the State of Florida. 

According to the court record, on May 5, 2017, a concerned citizen reported to the FWC that a man was disturbing sea turtle nests on North Hutchinson Island.  A law enforcement investigation revealed that Cobb had removed over 200 eggs from two sea turtle nests.  On May 24, 2017, law enforcement officials observed Cobb and Saunders remove approximately 469 sea turtle eggs from nests on North Hutchinson Island.   Cobb and Saunders were arrested as they were transporting the eggs to Palm Beach County. The recovered eggs were relocated by marine biologists in the hope that some of them will yield hatchlings.

Mr. Greenberg commended the investigative efforts of USFWS and the FWC.  This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Butler.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov

Updated January 31, 2018