Tag Archives: florida keys

Man Gets $1.4 Million Dollar Bond for Undersize Lobster Tails

lobster tails monroe

Tails Seized by Monroe SO

A Miami man caught with a bunch of undersized lobster tails was arrested and given bond totaling 1.4 million dollars in Monroe County. Now, to be sure, he got caught with a lot (246) of undersized lobsters, and he has actually been caught stealing undersized lobsters before, so this isn’t his first rodeo. Still, a bond as high as the annual salary for an NFL player might be a little on the high side.

Unless this guy, Jorge Vargas, has massive independent wealth (which I doubt, since he’s stealing seafood), this is essentially a no bond hold. The court is directed to take into account a lot of things when setting bond, including his means to pay, his likelihood of showing up to court dates (he’s apparently missed them before), the threat to the community, and prior record. While his record of similar offenses, and especially if he’s missed a court date on criminal charges, would suggest a higher bond, that is an awful lot of zeros to put up there on a fish case. To be entitled to a no bond hold (pretrial detention without bond), the state has to make a showing of the strength of their case, and why no bond could protect the community. There’s no indication that this guy is violent or anything like that, so the bond is likely too high under Florida law.

This case may be ripe for a habeas corpus, essentially an appeal to the higher court to order the lower court to reevaluate the bond on the case. Even if he gets the bond lowered, it will still be relatively high due to his record, and the volume of lobster he had taken. And even if he can post bond, that’s just to assure his presence in court… he may be facing some substantial incarceration if he is ultimately convicted of 246 counts of possession of undersized lobsters!

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Dude Busted Driving a Backhoe down 7-Mile Bridge in the Keys

While it (obvioiusly) happened in Florida, it was apparently a Wisconsin man that was arrested after leading officers on a low-speed chase on the seven mile bridge driving a backhoe. Poorly. 59-year old Carl Blahnik was carrying a Wisconsin ID when he was arrested, but authorities believe he had decamped to Florida, and was homeless in the Keys. Deputies pursued and ultimately arrested him for multiple charges after deploying stop sticks to deflate the tires of the backhoe. And the Monroe County Sheriff was nice enough to post the video online!

He drove around on the bridge for an hour and a half, doing all sorts of damage, and effectively shutting the only roadway to the southern keys. Alas, no DUI charges for the backhoe… no indication from the story why; other than to suggest a bizarre joyride.