TAMPA (970 WFLA) -- After an investigation lasting four months, Hillsborough prosecutors and state Fish and Wildlife agents have charged three people in connection with that video in which a shark was dragged behind a boat at high speed.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office investigated the video and other disturbing images on social media. They say those images represented shocking disregard for Florida’s natural resources.
FWC Chairman Bo Rivard says he appreciates the public's patience and hopes to send a message that this kind of behavior "will not be tolerated."
Michael Wenzel, 21, of Palmetto faces two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty and a misdemeanor count of Illegal Method of Taking a Shark,
Robert Lee Benac, 28, of Bradenton faces the exact dame charges, while 23 year old Spencer Heintz of Bradenton is facing two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty.
Social media uproar resulted after photos and video became public in August.