A photo obtained showing a goliath grouper being fileted. CONTRIBUTED

A 32-year-old man from Callahan, Florida, turned himself in to authorities on Oct. 13 after photos and video allegedly showed him in possession of a nurse shark and fileting goliath grouper, among other marine resource violations, during a visit in Marathon. 

On Sept. 23, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation’s internet crimes investigator Chris Mattson received an email containing a Facebook link to a video of a small nurse shark swimming in the bottom of a swimming pool. The video, posted on Aug. 24  at a Gulfstream Avenue residence in Marathon, goes on to show a young boy diving down and grabbing the nurse shark and handing it to a bearded Hispanic male, later identified as Yansel Garrido, who then shows it to some of the other guests on the pool deck before the video cuts off. 

According to FWC, the Facebook page containing the Aug. 24 video belonged to Garrido. The video shows Garrido clothed in turquoise swim trunks holding the nurse shark. At one point, Garrido allegedly holds up the shark to the camera and it runs the length from his face to his belly button. The minimum size limit to harvest a nurse shark is 54 inches in length.

Yansel Garrido, of Callahan, Florida, is facing a bevy of charges after he was allegedly found to be in possession of a nurse shark under 54 inches, undersized lobster and a goliath grouper. CONTRIBUTED

Further investigation into Garrido’s Facebook page revealed other resource violations, including an image of Garrido in possession of a goliath grouper and another picture showing the scaling and cutting of the goliath grouper on a filet table. The photos were posted on Aug. 27. 

In another video posted on Aug. 24, Garrido was seen cooking on a barbecue grill with Florida spiny lobster that were undersized. 

On Oct. 9, Mattson contacted Garrido regarding the violations that stemmed from the videos. Garrido told Mattson they found the shark and that he “will do whatever it takes to fix the problem.” Garrido also said he thought goliath grouper, a prohibited species, was “just a fish.”

When asked what happened to the nurse shark, Garrido reportedly refused to answer. 

Garrido was booked for first-degree misdemeanor for cruelty to animals, second-degree misdemeanor for harvesting a goliath grouper, second-degree misdemeanor for possessing a nurse shark less than 54 inches and six counts of second-degree misdemeanor for possession of undersized spiny lobster. 

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