KEY WEST (CBSMiami/AP) – Two Keys marine dealers pleaded guilty Wednesday for conspiring to harvest and transport marine life.
Eric Pedersen, 51, and Serder Ercan, 42, are each facing up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines. Their sentencing is set for December.READ MORE: Davonte Barnes Charged In Mass Shooting Outside NW Miami-Dade Banquet Hall
The Grassy Key-based pair, according to authorities, illegally harvested corals, sea fans, nurse, bonnethead and lemon sharks, and other marine life between October 2010 and February 2011.READ MORE: State Blames Bank After Florida Educators' Bonus Checks Bounce
The species were sold throughout the U.S. as well as buyers in foreign countries.
Many species were taken from the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and other national wildlife refuges, where special protection rules apply.MORE NEWS: Powerball Jackpot Swells To $523 Million This Weekend
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