Texas woman to serve jail time for taking conchs from FL beach

Conchs a protected species in Florida

Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

Officer John Martino of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rescued 40 queen conchs from a Texas woman who said she didn't know it was illegal to take them.

KEY WEST, Fla. - Don’t mess with the conch in Florida.

A Texas woman recently found that out and will spend 15 days in jail for the 2017 crime.

Diana Fiscal-Gonzalez, of Dallas, pleaded no contest on July 12 to taking 40 queen conchs from the waters around Key West. She was planning to clean them and give them as gifts, according to Florida Keys News.

She told the judge she didn’t know it was illegal to take the mollusks, which are state-protected. The charges were second-degree misdemeanors, court records show.

An officer from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission arrested Fiscal-Gonzalez on July 13, 2017, after an anonymous tip.

The officer said when he got to the house, he saw a woman in plain view with three plastic containers and a water hose in the driveway. The conchs were in the containers, according to the agency.

After photographing the conchs, Martino returned them to the water. Most were still alive, FWC said.

Read more from Florida Keys News

Distributed by LAKANA. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.