PENSACOLA, Fla. (WALA) -- The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said four people responsible for stealing thousands of oysters have been arrested.

In July, thieves got away with 35 bags of oysters stolen from the Pensacola Bay Oyster Company. The oyster farm said the hail was worth more than $10,000.

Oyster theft suspects arrested in Northwest Florida

FWC investigators working the case said they developed a list of suspects and executed a search warrant at a home. Officers seized more than 4,000 oysters at the location and testing by the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory determined that the oysters were farm-raised and not wild-caught oysters.

Agents arrested Nicholas Mason, Douglas Lowery, Lesia Mason, and Lonny Teston.

“These suspects were involved in an illegal oyster operation. These violations are serious and posed public safety and economic consequences,” said Major Craig Duval, commander of the FWC’s Northwest Region. “I am incredibly proud of our law enforcement officers for their work in this investigation and for their dedication to conserving our precious natural resources.”

Their charges are listed below.

Nicholas Mason of Milton and Douglas Lowery of Milton:

Principle – Grand Theft – Second Degree Felony

Principle – Dealing in Stolen Property – Second Degree Felony

Criminal Mischief – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Not Delivering to a Certified Oyster House – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Closed Season – Second Degree Misdemeanor

No Tags on Oysters – Second Degree Misdemeanor

No Saltwater Products License – Second Degree Misdemeanor

No Shellfish Endorsement – Second Degree Misdemeanor

No Retail License – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Undersized Oysters – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Harvest of Oysters at Night – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Failure to Register Vessel Commercial – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Closed Season Stone Crabs – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Whole Stone Crabs – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Trespass on Lease – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Quality Contorl on Vessel – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Possession > 100 Stone Crabs – First Degree Misdemeanor *Nicholas Mason’s charge only*

Lesia Mason of Milton:

Principle – Grand Theft – Second Degree Felony

Principle – Dealing in Stolen Property – Second Degree Felony

Closed Season – Second Degree Misdemeanor

No Tags on Oysters – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Undersized Oysters – Second Degree Misdemeanor

Lonny Teston of Pace:

Accessory Dealing in Stolen Property – Third Degree Felony

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