BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- A local man has pleaded guilty to stealing loggerhead sea turtle eggs. Stealing the eggs is a violation of the Lacey Act, which makes it unlawful for any person to acquire, receive, or transport loggerhead sea turtle eggs. Loggerheads are an endangered species and protected under federal law.
In May 2012, Lewis Jackson took more than 150 loggerhead sea turtle eggs from nests on Sapelo Island, Georgia. Investigators say when they found the eggs they were packaged up, so Jackson could sell them. Loggerhead eggs fetch as much as $15 per egg on the black market.
United States Attorney Edward Tarver said, “Loggerhead sea turtles are a national treasure that must be protected from plunder for our enjoyment and that of future generations.”
Jackson faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.