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Man cited for illegally selling sea turtle and turtle shells

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Posted at 10:20 AM, Mar 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-02 10:20:16-05

A Manatee County man was cited for illegally selling turtle shells at a yard sale.

Calvin Meekins was spotted by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer as he unloaded Marine Turtle shells and a taxidermied turtle and offered them for sale.

Meekins said he owned the shells and had for over 30 years when he got them in the Bahamas and Mexico.

A sign was in the yard advertising the Sea Turtle for $3,500.

The officer informed him it was illegal to sell Marine Turtles. Meekins said he already knew that, but he needed the cash. He offered to put them away if he needed to, but the officer confiscated the shells.

As the officer was putting the shells in a truck, a Manatee County Sheriff's Office Deputy said Meekins was trying to hide the taxidermy Green Sea Turtle in the bushes. That too was confiscated by the FWC official.

Meekins was cited with a first degree misdemeanor for knowingly taking, disturbing, mutilating, destroying, transferring, selling, molesting or harassing any marine turtles, eggs or nest of any marine turtle.