Charges dropped in shooting of protected birds

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) - Trespassing charges have been dropped against four U.S. Navy officers accused of wantonly shooting and killing 21 protected birds in southwest Florida.

Court records indicate the State Attorney's Office declined to pursue charges against seven people because the location where the shootings occurred in February was not properly marked as a no trespassing area.

Also, law enforcement officers who made the arrests did not witness anyone shoot the wading birds near Goodland.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission planned Monday to explore other possible charges.

The Naval officers were graduates of the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and enrolled at the Naval Aviation Schools Command in Pensacola.
Information from: Naples Daily News,

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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