MARATHON, FLA. (WSVN) - A Miami-Dade County man was cited after he was caught with live queen conchs in the Florida Keys, authorities said.

According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy spotted two men dragging a canoe with fishing rods inside near Mile Marker 38 just south of Marathon, Saturday evening.

Investigators said both men denied having any fish or wildlife inside, but the deputy spotted four live queen conchs inside the vessel.

One of the men, identified as 31-year-old Markus Dyer, said he didn’t know the conchs were alive. The other man denied taking the sea creatures.

Dyer was cited for possessing the protected conchs, which were returned to the water.

Dyer was given a mandatory notice to appear in court.

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