- Associated Press - Saturday, January 30, 2016

FORT PIERCE, Fla. (AP) - Speeding through a Florida manatee zone is going to cost a Fort Pierce man $5,000 and require him to serve a year’s probation.

A federal magistrate judge on Friday handed that punishment to 37-year-old Christopher McManus, who previously pleaded guilty to a federal water violation. The $5,000 fine will go into a federal Lacey Act fund that supports wildlife conservation.

Court documents show McManus was operating his boat in July 2015 well above minimum speed requirements in a manatee protection zone. The violation occurred in the Indian River portion of the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Lucie County.

Prosecutors say McManus has previous convictions for violating fish and wildlife regulations.

Slow-moving manatees have been listed as an endangered species for decades. Federal officials recently proposed improving their status to threatened.

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