TAMPA, Fla. – Authorities say social media posts bolstered their investigation into a video of a shark being dragged behind a speeding boat in Florida.
Three men were charged Tuesday with third-degree felony animal cruelty charges in connection with the video. They face up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines if convicted.
A Herald-Tribune report quoted investigative reports that said many events surrounding the shark dragging seen in the video were recorded on the social media Snapchat app.
Investigators said they obtained videos, photographs and text messages through search warrants for the men's social media accounts.
Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office spokeswoman Rena Frazier said charges were "not typical charges, as we typically don't see this manner of animal cruelty with marine life at our office."
Information from: Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune, http://www.heraldtribune.com