Florida poachers motivated by novel use for turtle eggs Bar patrons believe in aphrodisiac properties

November 23, 1995|By KNIGHT-RIDDER NEWS SERVICE

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- As aphrodisiacs go, this one's pretty peculiar.

On Tuesday, three men admitted poaching 372 loggerhead sea turtle eggs from lush Palm Beach. It's what they planned to do with the eggs that raised eyebrows in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

One defendant said, "Oh yeah, we sell it to local bars, and they put it in drinks," said Diane Patrick, the federal prosecutor. Some believe the eggs have the ability to enhance sexual desire.

"I was educated," the prosecutor admitted. "I had no idea they had these uses."

The potential price tag? From $2 to $3 an egg, or $25 a dozen.

James Bivens, Greg Harmon and Winfred Patrick pleaded guilty to a felony and a misdemeanor for violating federal laws prohibiting the possession and sale of threatened species. Prosecutors dropped a conspiracy charge. They could be sentenced to as much as five years in prison.

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