Police Charge Key West Man With Felony For Allegedly Eating ‘Florida’s Spectacular Sea Snail’

(Photo by JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

Andrew Powell Sports and Entertainment Blogger
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A man has been arrested in Key West and hit with a felony charge after eating a protected species on Friday, according to Florida wildlife officers, per WPLG Local 10 (ABC Miami).

After turning 67 years old just a few days prior, Burley David Smith made the decision to “catch, cook and eat two queen conch” at a Wisteria Island campsite, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, per WPLG Local 10.

FWC received a call from a witness who reported the illegal meal, according to the agency. When officers came to the island, Smith was “argumentative” and did not cooperate, according to FWC, per ABC Miami. (RELATED: ‘Florida Man’ Is At It Again, And It’s About The Most Pure America Thing You Can Think Of)

“He admitted the queen conch shells were at his campsite but would not show them the location,” said an agency spokesperson, according to WPLG. “The witness who observed Smith harvesting the endangered species and another witness who called in the incident directed the officers to Smith’s campsite. The two empty queen conch shells were there as he described next to a pot and a fire.”

Smith was then arrested, according to Local 10.

A guide from the FWC explains that “Florida’s Spectacular Sea Snail” has long been “harvested for its tasty meat and beautiful shell.” The guide also notes that a harvest protection is in place for the species and that “efforts are being directed toward replenishing native populations.”