State Attorney's Office says they are waiting for the FWC report before making a decision in the case

MANATEE COUNTY — A decision could be coming soon in the investigation of four men who were seen in a 10-second clip posted on social media dragging a shark to death behind a boat at high speed.

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The shark, tethered to the back of the boat, appears to thrash and repeatedly slams against the wake as the men look back. They sent the video to a celebrity shark hunter known as Capt. Mark “The Shark” Quartiano, who said he couldn’t believe what he saw. He condemned the video on his Instagram account.

Now, after months of work, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officials are nearly ready to submit their findings to prosecutors.

“We’re finishing up the investigation and meeting with the State Attorney’s Office,” FWC executive director Nick Wiley said. “We’re close to wrapping it up.”

The State Attorney’s Office said they are waiting for the report before deciding on possible criminal charges in the case.

“It’s still open and pending and still under investigation,” said Assistant State Attorney and felony division chief Cynthia Evers. “As far as I know, they are still accumulating evidence.”

Evers said the case is not dependent on any one piece of evidence. She reiterated that the State Attorney’s Office will make a decision about criminal charges after FWC’s report is submitted.

Prosecutors released a statement thanking those individuals who have expressed “concern” over the videos and images seen over social media.

According to the statement, which was emailed Wednesday to the Herald-Tribune, “We share your concern, and we are committed to conserving Florida’s natural resources.” Prosecutors and FWC are working toward a “swift” and “lawful resolution” to the case.