A Texas woman has been sentenced to 15 days in jail and a $500 fine for trying to take 40 queen conchs out of Key West, Florida, and home to Dallas.
Diana Fiscal-Gonzalez pleaded no contest on July 13 to second-degree misdemeanor charges related to removing the state-protected mollusks from ocean waters, according to Florida Keys News.
Fiscal-Gonzalez, 30, apologized to the judge and said she didn’t know that removing conchs from Florida waters was illegal, the newspaper reported.
A Texas woman will spend 15 days in jail as punishment for taking 40 queen conchs from the waters that surround Key West with a plan to clean them and give the shells away as gifts. https://t.co/lKSPlECDLs— ☠Keys Treasures☠ (@KeysTreasures) July 18, 2018
After receiving a tip, an officer with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission caught the woman hosing down three plastic containers full of the conchs on July 13 and arrested her. She said she planned to clean the mollusks and give them away as gifts, according to local news reports.
The agency said the conchs were returned to the water and most were still alive, Florida Keys News reported.
Fiscal-Gonzalez is scheduled to begin her 15-day jail stint on Aug. 10.
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