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1. PRINCIPAL DEFENDANT: Bonefish Holdings, LLC
S.D.  Florida  4:19-CR-10006-JEM
Court records and a joint factual statement indicate that Bonefish Holdings, LLC owned five parcels of ocean-side land totaling approximately 7.41 acres, containing approximately 3.73 acres of federally regulated wetlands in Upper Matecumbe Key, Monroe County. Bonefish wanted to develop the site into a luxury commercial property, however, due to the presence of federally protected wetlands and the existing Village of Islamorada’s Comprehensive Plan and Land Development Regulations, those plans were denied. The defendant sought and received a Jurisdictional Determination in 2009, reconfirmed in 2013, from the USACE confirming the presence of the federally protected wetlands and making clear that fill activity could only occur with the required permits. On September 10, 2017, Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys as a major Category 4 hurricane. The defendant hired laborers with the intention, in addition to clearing storm debris, to clear and fill the site. The defendant’s actions were designed to intentionally take advantage of what it saw as an opportunity to remove significant additional vegetation and the filling of wetlands, in the hope of easing the path for future development of the site.

June 11, 2019

Bonefish Holdings, LLC pled guilty to illegally discharging fill material, which is a pollutant, into federally regulated wetlands without a permit issued by the USACE following Hurricane Irma in 2017.

Bonefish was sentenced to 3 years of probation, was ordered to pay a $50,000 criminal fine, and ordered to fully restore the impacted 3.73 acres of federal wetlands according to an approved Restoration Plan (estimated by the defendant to cost approximately $189,000).

CITATION: 33 U.S.C. 1319(c)(2)(A)
  • Clean Water Act (CWA)

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