09/03/2013 11:58 am ET

Kim Feaste, Accused Of Stealing Turtle Eggs, Could Face Felony Charges

A Florida man accused of stealing sea turtle eggs in Casey Key may be trading his shells for a cell.

Kim Raymond Feaste, 21, of Wesley Chapel faces a third degree felony charge for possession of a sea turtle.

"It's extremely illegal in the State of Florida to possess a sea turtle," Officer Baryl Martin of the Florida of Fish and Wildlife Commission told WTSP.

The charge might land Feaste a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison, Fox News Tampa Bay reported.

Officers tracked Feaste to an apartment in Tampa after posting photos last week of the man allegedly digging up a clearly marked sea turtle nest.

At the apartment, officers say they found a loggerhead turtle in Feaste's possession. Feaste has been charged with a third degree felony for possessing the endangered animal.

Feast allegedly told a witness at the time of the incident that he was collecting turtle eggs to be released later once they hatched.

Although Feaste has not been officially charged with the egg theft, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission believes he is the person responsible. Feaste was released on a $2,000 bond.

Feaste commented, "This is false" in response to a WTSP Facebook post about his arrest.

Earlier this month, eight people were arrested in Puerto Rico for smuggling and trading endangered sea turtles for human consumption.



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