Florida man who dragged shark in viral video sentenced to 10 days in jail

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A Florida man who recorded a shark being dragged to its death behind a high-speed boat accepted a plea deal on Thursday and was sentenced to 10 days in jail.

Robert Lee "Bo" Benac III was the third man to face charges stemming from the June 2017 incident where a shark was seen on video being dragged by a rope from a 22-foot boat near Egmont Key. The men could be heard laughing at the shark on the recording, which was posted to social media and generated widespread outrage.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission led the prosecution against Benac and Michael Wenzel, 23, who took a similar plea deal in February, according to the Bradenton Herald.

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Robert Lee "Bo" Benac III was sentenced to 10 days in jail last Thursday for dragging a shark in the back of his boat and recording the encounter in July of 2017. (Hillsborough County Sheriff)

In addition to the 10-day jail sentence, Benac was given 11 months of probation, ordered to pay a $2,500 fine and perform 250 hours of community service, 125 of which must be spent at an animal shelter, the outlet reported. He also lost his fishing license for three years.

Benac pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and violation of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules.

Benac, Wenzel and Spencer Heintz, 35, were arrested in December 2017, but the charges against Heintz were eventually dropped, according to the Bradenton Herald.

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Benac and Wenzel weren't as lucky.

Following the incident, other videos began to surface involving the men. One showed Wenzel shooting a shark with a .38-caliber revolver and another showed the men pouring alcohol down the throats of fish that were alive, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

“We were confident in what we could do and what we could show, but at the end of the day you can never be 100 percent confident in the jury system ...,” Benac's lawyer, Justin Petredis said. “That was a worry, that the anger and emotions of the jury would outweigh where we were hoping common sense would take over.”

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Petredis said Benac took the plea deal because of how widely the videos had been shared online, the outlet reported. Benac also received credit for a day spent in the county jail.