FWC charges 2 with harming sea turtle nest
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Media contact: Gary Morse, 863-227-3830
Two Englewood women were arrested June 21 on
third-degree felony charges for knowingly disturbing a sea turtle
nest. At 2:30 p.m., Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation
Commission (FWC) law enforcement officers and Charlotte County
deputies arrested Juanita B. Schultz, (DOB 10/28/36) of 1230
Shoreview Dr., and Mary F. Cammarano-Richards (DOB 01/14/55) of
1230 Shoreview Dr. #2, Englewood. Third-degree felony charges
are punishable by up to five years in prison and/or fines of up to
On June 14, the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office
contacted the FWC's Division of Law Enforcement with information
about someone disturbing the area over and around a sea turtle nest
and pulling up signs and stakes marking the protected nest.
FWC Officer Ron Howard was assigned the case.
Howard found that signs and stakes marking the nest had been
removed, and there were indications that the domed-nest mound had
been leveled and the crawl had been raked. Howard presented
his findings to the Charlotte State Attorney's Office, who will
prosecute the case.
Although this sea turtle nest was on private
property, both state and federal laws protect sea turtles, their
nests and eggs no matter where they occur. Even on a private beach,
posting by authorities in the immediate area around a sea turtle
nest is legal. The informational posting at critical nest
sites helps both private property owners and the public from
running afoul of the law.
For more information on imperiled sea turtles and
their plight, go to MyFWC.com/SeaTurtle.