He posted fish photos from his Keys vacation. Then he went to jail

He posted fish photos from his Keys vacation. Then he went to jail


A North Florida man came to the Florida Keys in August and fished, chronicling his vacation by posting videos and photos on his Facebook page.

But some of those catches, police said, were crimes.

The Facebook posts show a protected Goliath grouper being filleted, a batch of undersized lobster on the grill and an undersized nurse shark placed in a swimming pool that is treated with chlorine at his vacation rental in Marathon, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Yansel Garrido, 32, was jailed Tuesday after his arrest on charges of cruelty to animals — for the nurse shark treatment — harvesting a Goliath grouper and possession of six undersized lobsters, all misdemeanors.

Garrido, who lives in Callahan near Jacksonville, remained locked up at a Monroe County jail Tuesday evening on $18,101 bond.

One photo on Facebook showed Garrido had a Goliath grouper on the dock of the vacation house, FWC reported, while another photo showed him scaling and cutting the Goliath on a fillet table. The photos were posted Aug. 27.

State fish and wildlife police arrested a man they said killed a federally protected Goliath grouper while on vacation in the Florida Keys in August 2020. In this screenshot, the man is seen with a Goliath grouper, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
State fish and wildlife police arrested a man they said killed a federally protected Goliath grouper while on vacation in the Florida Keys in August 2020. In this screenshot, the man is seen with a Goliath grouper, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Garrido told police he didn’t know the big fish he filleted was a Goliath grouper, a species that has been protected in state and federal waters off Florida since 1990.

“What the hell is that?” he told an FWC investigator, according to the arrest report. “I thought it was just a fish.”

Garrido also said, “I’m not going to jail. I have a family to support.”

The investigation began Sept. 23 after someone sent FWC Capt. David Dipre a video spotted on Garrido’s Facebook page.

The video, posted Aug. 24, shows a very small nurse shark swimming in the bottom of a swimming pool, FWC said. A young boy dives down and grabs the nurse shark and brings it to a man on the deck, who shows it to some people.

At one point in the video, Garrido is holding the nurse shark, police said.

“The shark is extremely sluggish and close to near death,” the FWC report states. “It shows no resistance or ability to fight or get away.”

FWC said the shark had been “tormented” by being placed in chlorinated water.

The shark is no more than 24 inches long, FWC said. The law states someone cannot harvest a nurse shark shorter than 54 inches long.

Police said they captured the video on Garrido’s Facebook page. The post is headlined, “Little sand shark!”

He caught a big fish near Key West. But he went to jail after bragging about it

After watching the nurse shark video, Dipre checked out the rest of Garrido’s Keys posts and said he found evidence of the lobster and Goliath grouper violations.

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