Keys man caught with 5 illegal lobster tails ‘hidden in his pants,’ officials say

Yasmany Valdes Puebla (MCSO)

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. – A lobster diver in the Florida Keys likely wasn’t happy to see wildlife officers Wednesday after officials say they made some illegal discoveries after conducting a resource inspection.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Yasmany Valdes Puebla, 34, of Stock Island, would eventually be busted with five illegal lobster tails “hidden in his pants.”

FWC officials said Valdes Puebla was diving near the south side of Boca Chica Bridge when officers spotted him with a lobster in his hand, prompting them to summon him for the inspection.

As he swam over, he started “releasing mangrove snapper back into the water from his shirt,” according to the FWC. An officer then dove after the speared fish.

Officers would later find the five wrung spiny lobster tails hidden in Valdes Puebla’s trousers, officials said.

“Spiny lobster must be landed in whole condition, it is prohibited to separate the tails from the body in state waters,” an FWC spokesperson said.

Valdes Puebla had a total of 12 mangrove snapper and seven spiny lobster on him at the time of his arrest, officials said. The bag limits are five and six respectively.

Officers arrested Valdes Puebla on 13 misdemeanor charges related to lobster and mangrove snapper violations, as well a charge of resisting or interfering with a wildlife officer.


About the Author:

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.