Trio apprehended in Matina with suspected turtle eggs

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo Eggs were located under other items in the bed of this pickup truck.

Coast Guard officers detained three persons Tuesday and said they were carrying 672 leatherback turtle eggs.

The arrests came in the community of Larga Distancia de Catorce Millas, Matina. The men were traveling along a railroad track, apparently in an effort to avoid police, said the Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas. The suspects were identified by the last names of Goul Mejía, Platera Calúa and Lépiz Mejía.

The eggs were turned over to a nearby turtle nursery. The effort was directed by the Guardacostas environmental unit.

The Caribbean beaches are a nesting site for several species of turtles at different times of the year. The leatherbacks are endangered.

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