Toby Lamm of Vero Beach, Florida was accused of unlawfully importing various fish, crab, and lobster in violation of state regulations, a press release from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida indicates. Lamm, 46, was indicted on charges stemming from the illegal imports. It is unclear whether he was arrested. No defense attorney appears to have spoken out of Lamm’s behalf yet.
According to reports, detectives working for the St. Lucie County Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission discovered that Lamm tried to import a variety of marine wildlife on June 23, 2013. The shipment apparently included “338 queen conch, 11 spiny lobster tails, 31 stone crab claws, and 140 pounds of Snapper and Grouper fillets. Based on the indictment, Lamm violated the possession limits for each of the species he attempted to import, mainly those set forth in part 10 of the Fisheries Resources Regulations. Prosecutors are purportedly seeking for Lam to forfeit some or all of the illegally imported goods.
“The case has been assigned to U.S. District Court Judge … If convicted, Lamm faces a possible sentence of up to one year in prison, the forfeiture of the illegal catch, and a fine of up to $10,000,” the indictment says. The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, NOAA Office of Law Enforcement, and Customs and Border Protection were all involved in the investigation.
Lamm was not the only South Florida resident accused of unlawfully possessing marine life recently. Earlier this year, Marathon resident and dental assistant Kasey Platt was apprehended for allegedly trying to sell lobster, despite not having a valid license to do so, sources report. The lobster was also apparently captured illegally, though it is not clear whether Platt herself did the capturing. Platt, 20, was taken to the Marathon County Jail on charges of not possessing “bills of laden and invoices” pertaining to the transport of saltwater products, unlicensed sale of saltwater products, not possessing a saltwater products license, not possessing a retail dealer license, and possession/sale of Florida spiny lobster during the closed season. It is not known how her case is proceeding.
Sources indicate Platt is employed at a dental office as an assistant. Detectives reportedly first learned she was making a side income by selling lobster tails after a tipster reported a Craigslist post entitled “Fresh Lobster Tails — $10 a tail. Shipping available @ extra charge.” A report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission purportedly states, “The advertiser stated the lobster tails were frozen but had only been frozen for three days, thus guaranteeing their freshness and indicating the lobsters were harvested during the recreational mini-season.”
As part of an undercover investigation, an FWC undercover detective contacted and met with Platt at a Kmart parking lot to buy 25 lobster tails for $250, reports indicate. “During the sale, Mrs. Platt indicated that she could get more tails if [the undercover officer] wanted to buy them. He just had to let her know,” reports say. Platt was subsequently arrested.