Florida Man Report – August 8

August 8 – Florida Man Engages in Illegal Turtle Smuggling

John Michael Kreatsoulas, owner of Omni Reptiles Inc., has pled guilty to illegally smuggling thousands of turtles overseas, primarily to Germany and to Hong Kong. Kreatsoulas falsified documents through the US Fish and Wildlife Service to claim that he had privately bred these animals, some of which are considered endangered and all of which were harvested from the wild.

Kreatsoulas participated in this fraud for six years and pled guilt to conspiracy to traffic wildlife and multiple counts of falsifying records to a federal agency. It’s critically important to note that each count of fraud could be punished with up to five years of federal prison. Kreatsoulas could face 50 or more years of incarceration of federal prison for turtles.

Climate change data indicates that vulnerable animals that are threatened or endangered are under greater stress with each passing season. Federal regulations on engaging in activities that threaten any endangered or threatened animal include costly fines and may or may not include jail time. Anyone interested in trafficking endangered or threatened animals need to know that harassing or harming these animals can also be included in the name of “trafficking.”

If you are physically threatened by an animal that is covered by the Endangered Species Act and must defend yourself, be very aware that your explanation has to be accurate, detailed and provable. If your tale is not believable, your penalties maybe extremely costly. You may also be facing jail time.

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August 8 – Florida Man Attempts to Steal and Crashes Airplane on the Ground

Special investigators from the Intelligence Unit were called in when an airplane was found out of place and showing signs of damage. Bruce Matthew Plummer was found and identified on the videotape of the airport surveillance.

Plummer entered more than one plane, turned on the lights of another, and moved another one out of video range. That plane was found damaged after Plummer ran it into a light pole while still on the ground. A bulletproof vest was located, as well as firearms and bullets.

The Intelligence Unit also executed a search warrant on Plummer’s home and vehicle. Further evidence collected there tied him to the crime on the runway. As a person on probation, Plummer may have been restricted from purchasing firearms or ammunition. Future penalties for this event could be severe if firearms restrictions were part of his previous probationary restrictions.

Indications are that Plummer did not attempt to fly the plane away, but damaged it while moving it on the grass. Because the plane was of significant value, the Grand Theft charges were extensive.

Plummer has a long history of DUIs and probation violations. It is interesting to note that he is also the owner of a bulletproof vest. If you are a citizen, you can legally own a bulletproof vest. If you have a history of felony or are found to own a bulletproof vest and use it in the commission of a crime, the penalties could be severe.

Per statements from Plummer’s parents, he also has challenges with regard to substance abuse, addiction and mental health challenges.