Jumping the gun

3 men arrested an hour before season starts

Three men from Homestead allegedly got an early start looking for lobster. Unfortunately for them, the Fish and Wildlife Commission officers also started early. Rafael Andino, 47, Abnel Flores Betancourt, 47, and Luis Rodriguez Vergel, 71, were apprehended at about 11 p.m. July 24, one hour before the official start of the lobster mini-season at midnight on July 25, on the bayside of Islamorada.

FWC Officers Tom Tafoya and Mark Oldsen reportedly released the lobster back into the wild after documenting the case. IAN WILSON/Keys Weekly
FWC Officer Mark Oldsen, left, and Jorge Larios inspect the broken lobster legs found on the boat.
According to FWC officers, the men were in the water as well. Night diving is prohibited in Monroe County during mini-season

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