Florida teens facing fines, possible jail time for throwing trash in Atlantic Ocean in viral video

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Sunday, May 5, 2024
FL teens facing fines, jail time for throwing trash in ocean: VIDEO
Video shows teen Florida boaters dumping trash in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Boca Raton. They're now facing fines and possible jail time.

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Two Florida teens who turned themselves in to police are cooperating with investigators after viral video showing them dumping trash into the Atlantic Ocean generated outrage around the world.

"We are getting calls from all over the world on this issue, and this is just such an egregious act that it's offended so many people," said Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission Chairman Rodney Barreto.

According to the charging documents, the teens are facing felony pollution charges punishable with up to $50,000 in fines or up to five years in prison.

"It's, a callous, you know, disregard for our environment. And, you know, this won't be tolerated in Florida," Barreto said.

Officials say a group of minors left a party called Boca Bash off the coast of Boca Raton.

Video captured by a local content creator and later posted on YouTube shows two teens dumping garbage cans full of trash, apparently celebrating, before heading back to the party.

Investigators called it both a serious crime and a teachable moment.

"These are juveniles. We get it. I was a juvenile at one point. We're not here to ruin someone's life forever," Barreto said.

One of the teens on board who wasn't charged spoke with ABC affiliate WPLG, saying those actions should have consequences.

"I feel like he deserves whatever happens, because he made a really bad decision," the teen said.