TAMPA, FL (WWSB) - Spencer Heintz had all charges dropped against him in the shark dragging case this morning at a court hearing on Tuesday, May 1.
Michael Wenzel, Robert Lee Benac and Spencer Heintz were the three men in connection the the shark dragging video.
Wenzel and Benac have their next court hearing on June 13, 2018.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigation began on July 24, 2017. Investigators say the shark in the video was shot and dragged in the waters of Egmont Key in Hillsborough County on June 26th. In addition to the shark being dragged, investigators say it was also unlawfully taken by speargun. They say many of the events were documented on Snapchat.
If convicted, they face up to five years in prison.
FWC investigators went through more than 60,000 pages of evidence acquired from search warrants, conducted numerous interviews and put in countless hours of research during the course of this investigation.
They say a fourth individual that was on the boat the day of the incident provided information and cooperated with investigators. He is not being charged in the case.
The FWC released the following statement about the arrests: "All of us at the FWC share the public’s concern over the video. We work every day to conserve our state’s precious natural resources, so violations like this are deeply disturbing to all FWC employees. This type of behavior is not representative of conservation-minded anglers around the world."
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