FWC now reviewing additional animal abuse images, videos after shark dragging

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TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) — As a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission team of investigators continues to work on the investigation of the now infamous shark dragging video, more videos and images are flooding into the office.

(A photo being investigating by the FWC)

A Facebook page called Boycott Siesta Key MTV is hosting a number of those images, claiming to link them to some of those involved with the shark dragging video.

Robert Klepper, spokesman for FWC, issued a statement saying in part, “The FWC has received numerous additional images and videos from the public, and investigators are looking into this information as well.”

FWC is not currently naming those involved in the shark dragging investigation, but some on social media are. Former prosecutor and defense attorney Bryant Camareno explains that may be one reason why investigators are taking their time with this case.

“What comes into play as a former prosecutor is, who is the person who is suspected of committing the crime? Who is he as a person? What connections does he have? And that might come into play,” said Camareno. “If this gentleman is connected, there may be some political influence, but they’re also going to look at the facts as well.”

Camareno, after reviewing the video, does believe a crime has been committed.

“If it’s open season to hunt deer, am I allowed to torture the deer?” asked Camareno. “I think the answer is no.”

Locals in the industry are also watching the case very closely.

Now that Governor Rick Scott has chimed in, what will it mean for regulations and laws governing fishing in Florida?

Captain Billy Nobles does not believe changes will affect those professionals who conduct themselves in a professional and legal manner. Those pictured in some of the images and videos now circulating clearly do not.

“It’s totally disrespectful to the resource,” said Nobles, standing on the deck of his boat, “And to the people who love the resource as far as i’m concerned.”

Follow Chip Osowski on Facebook

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