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Florida man pleads guilty to sawing off extended nose of endangered sawfish

Posted at 9:36 PM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 21:36:55-05

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — A man has pleaded guilty to killing an endangered fish unique to Florida waters whose extended nose is lined with teeth that resemble a saw.

Federal prosecutors say Chad Ponce of Jacksonville faces a year in prison and a $50,000 fine when he is sentenced for killing the sawfish, which is listed as an endangered species. A sentencing date hasn't been set yet.

The sawfish are only found in the southeastern U.S., primarily off the southwest coast of Florida.

Sawfish are generally harmless to humans, although they can inflict serious injury with their saw-like noses if threatened. Some grow as large as 17-feet.

Prosecutors say Ponce removed the extended nose of a sawfish last year using a power saw while fishing in a boat off the coast of Ponte Verde.