Harlingen police find sea turtle's body during drug raid
Thu, 10 Jan 2013 00:31:05 GMT —
A drug raid in Harlingen ended with four arrests but also an unusual discovery: the rotting body of a large sea turtle.
It all went down at an apartment home at the corner of West Filmore Avenue and South H Street late Monday morning.
The home is located across the street from a Head Start School.
Police found crack, cocaine, marijuana, oxycotin and more than $4,000 dollars in cash.
Juan Manuel Obregon, Adrian De Leon, Ashley Marie Cortez and Ruben Lozoya III are all facing different charges.
Sea Turtle Body
But it's what police found in the back of Lozoya's pickup truck that's raising eyebrows.
Officer reported finding the body of an endangered Green Sea Turtle.
Weighing in at close to 200 pounds, the sea turtle's body took up almost half of the back of his pickup.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is investigating the incident.
FWS agents told Action 4 News that Lozoya claims he found the sea turtle's body off Beach Access 6 on South Padre Island.
The 25-year-old Harlingen man told agents he wanted to keep it for the shell and other parts but the body was badly decomposed.
FWS agents said Lozoya was on his way to throw it away when Harlingen police raided the home.
Authorities have ordered an autopsy to determine how the sea turtle died.
Investigators said Lozoya was cited for a violation of the Endangered Species Act.
Under federal law, all seven species of sea turtles are protected. Even mere possession of one dead or alive is a violation of the law.
No further charges have been filed at this time but the incident remains under investigation.