A Rome man is among seven men facing felony charges in the Florida Keys for spearing 320 lobster illegally earlier this week. Arraignment is set for July 20 for Jeffrey Barket Meide, 44, of Rome, Ga and six other men from Alabama, according to the Florida Keys News.
According to the report, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officers Alex Piekenbrock and Jefferson Carroll stopped a boat July 9 near Vaca Cut in Marathon on which were Leon Reeves, 48, Robinson Reeves, 19, and Jeffrey Honnell, 45, all of Pheonix City, Ala.; Jeffrey Barket Meide, 44, of Rome, Ga.; and David Gilmore, 55, Francis Bartkiewicz, 57, and Kyle Bartkiewicz, 23, all of Eufaula, Ala.
On the boat and at the house the men rented nearby, the officers reportedly found at total of 320 out-of-season wrung spiny lobster tails, 226 of which were undersized, along with stone crab claws and fish.
So far, each man faces two felony charges for having more than 100 undersized lobster. They also received 586 misdemeanor counts each for out-of-season lobster and wrung tails; and 14 misdemeanor counts for the lobster, stone crab, and reef fish “not in whole condition.” The driver of the boat, David Gilmore, was handed an additional misdemeanor for a black grouper. Click here to read more.