Federal court records show the suspects allegedly took more than 650 sea turtle eggs from nests.
FORT PIERCE — Two men are accused of stealing hundreds of protected sea turtle eggs from nests on a Florida beach.
Federal court records show 60-year-old Carl Cobb and 50-year-old Raymond Saunders allegedly took more than 650 sea turtle eggs from nests on Hutchinson Island, which is north of West Palm Beach, intending to sell them. They could each face more than five years behind bars if convicted of Endangered Species Act and other violations.
The records show Cobb and Saunders both pleaded not guilty Friday in Fort Pierce federal court.
Prosecutors say a concerned citizen spotted the men disturbing turtle nests in May and contacted authorities. The recovered eggs were turned over to marine biologists who placed them back in the turtle nests in hopes some will hatch.