Three accused of possessing, dumping undersized grouper

Nicolae Alvarez

Nicolae Alvarez

Vasile Rus

Vasile Rus

George Cretu

George Cretu

Three Fort Myers men are accused of trying to dump a batch of undersized red grouper after their boat was pulled over by a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officer Sunday night.

The officer turned on his boat's lights and attempted to stop the other vessel six miles west of Gordon Pass around 6 p.m. Instead of stopping, the driver of the boat spun in a circle and a passenger dumped several fish overboard, according to an arrest report.

The wildlife officer ordered the man to stop the boat and to not throw anything else into the water. Inside the boat, he found 25 undersized red grouper. Reports said the longest fish was 15 inches, even though the minimum legal size is 20 inches.

By Florida law, each person is only allowed to bag four fish, which would mean the maximum number the men could have had between them was 12, reports said.

Vasile Rus, 40; George Cretu, 44; and Nicolae Alvarez, 36, each face 25 counts of possession of an undersized red grouper and one count of being over the bag limit for red grouper.

Alvarez also was accused of resisting a wildlife officer. Rus faces additional charges of resisting a wildlife officer and operator responsible for reef fish violations.

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