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Man sentenced for illegally transporting Wood Turtles for commercial gain in Estero

Posted at 4:57 PM, Dec 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 21:48:49-05

ESTERO, Fla. — An Estero man was sentenced to 15 months for illegally capturing Wood Turtles.

According to the States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District, Michael P. Ellard, 58, was capturing Wood Turtles and transporting them across state lines for commercial gain.

According to court documents, Ellard was engaged in the business of buying and selling reptiles within Florida and throughout the United States.

During the execution of a federal search warrant at Ellard’s residence in Estero, U.S. Fish and Wildlife agents seized a total of 17 Wood Turtles.

Ellard had pleaded guilty on July 24, 2019.

A restitution hearing has been set for March 2, 2020.