BREAKING: 3 Florida men charged in shark dragging video

Screen capture of violent shark-dragging video that went viral.

TALLAHASSEE – Florida wildlife officials and prosecutors have charged three men connected to a video of a shark being dragged behind a speeding boat.

PREVIOUS: Shark-dragging video could spur legislation

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission news release says 21-year-old Michael Wenzel and 23-year-old Spencer Heintz of Palmetto, along with 28-year-old Robert Lee Benac of Bradenton, each face two felony counts of aggravated animal cruelty. Wenzel and Benac also face a misdemeanor count of illegal method of taking a shark.

RELATED: Previous case involving men in shark-dragging video dropped for lack of evidence

The video of the shark being dragged went viral in late July after a Miami sport fisherman criticized it on social media.

FWC Chairman Bo Rivard said in a statement that he hopes the charges send a clear message that this kind of behavior won’t be tolerated.

PAST COVERAGE: Man in shark-dragging video asks for increased police patrols

Prosecutors in Hillsborough County are handling the case. Jail records didn’t list attorneys for the men.

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