Florida men charged with poaching 93 protected sea turtle eggs

Investigators say men planned to sell the eggs

A leatherback sea turtle buried her eggs Tuesday on Pompano Beach as beachgoers looked on. (John Harris)

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Two Florida men have been charged with stealing 93 protected sea turtle eggs.

Federal prosecutors in West Palm Beach announced charges Monday against Carl Lawrence Cobb, 63, and Bruce Wayne Bivins, 63. They each face three felony counts, including violating the Endangered Species Act. They each face up to 15 years in prison.

According to the criminal complaint, Cobb dropped Bivins off at the Singer Island Beach, just north of Palm Beach, on the night of May 24. Bivins found a sea turtle nest, removed 93 eggs and then called Cobb for a pick-up, officials said. Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported seeing the poaching and stopped Cobb's truck. The eggs were recovered and relocated by marine biologists, officials said.

Investigators said the men had been planning to sell the eggs.

Online court records didn’t list attorneys for the men. A court hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.