SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – People were found catching, killing and filleting endangered green sea turtles Saturday near South Padre Island's East Cut, according to Texas Game Wardens.
Cameron County Game Wardens received a tip via Operation Game Thief about the killings and went to investigate.
The wardens stopped a suspect vehicle and found two sea turtle shells during a search, according to a Facebook post.
Wardens continued up the beach and said they found additional people trying to conceal turtle meat.
An investigation revealed a plastic bag full of turtle meat in the sand dunes, including two sets of turtle hind and fore flippers and additional sea turtle shells.
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"The violators received multiple citations for illegally taking endangered/threatened species," the Facebook post said.
A dramatic reduction in wildlife crimes has been attributed to Operation Game Thief since its creation in 1981. The program issues rewards for information that leads to the conviction of game law violators.