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Second suspect in viral 2017 shark dragging incident accepts plea deal

Posted at 4:04 PM, Sep 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-12 16:04:35-04

One of the men charged in the viral shark-dragging case is accepting a plea deal during Thursday’s hearing.

Robert Benac is charged with misdemeanor animal cruelty. Benac will serve 11 months of probation and 10 days in jail on the weekends.

He is not allowed to seek a fishing license for three years and is ordered to serve 250 hours of community service.

RELATED: FWC investigating after social media video ofshark being dragged goes viral

Benac will report to the Hillsborough County jail Friday to begin his sentence, his first weekend behind bars.

Back in 2017, wildlife officials began investigating a viral video that showed a shark being dragged behind a boat at a high rate of speed.

Wildlife officials told ABC Action News in 2017 that the video was recorded on the west coast of Florida.

The other suspect, Michael Wenzel, was charged with aggravated animal cruelty in February 2019.

Wenzel was sentenced to 10 days in the Hillsborough County Jail. He was also sentenced to 100 hours of community service, a $2,500 fine and his fishing license will be suspended for five years.