Officers with the Horry County Police Department conducted an undercover operation as a result of an investigation of illegal turtle sales.
On Thursday, officers searched three beachwear stores and seized 298 turtles that were less than 1' to 1.5" long.
An Horry County Ordinance (4-11) prohibits the sale of turtles with shells under 4" in length. The ordinance is in place mainly due to Salmonella that young turtles carry in their body which can be transferred to humans through contact.
Undercover officers successfully purchased turtles at the Jaws Resort Wear Hwy. 17 Business South Murrells Inlet, Kings Beachwear South Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach and Pacific Beachwear South Kings Hwy., Myrtle Beach.
Tracy Carter, 45, Sigal Rowell, 44, and Joseph, 39, were issued courtesy summons for the sale of the turtles.
Last week, officers with the Horry County Police Department's Beach Patrol and Environmental Services Sections initiated an investigation after learning of possible illegal turtle sales at the stores.
In addition, aquariums, cages, turtle medications, turtle food and turtle conditioners were seized due to their specific association with turtle sales.
The 298 turtles that were seized were turned over to the Horry County Animal Care Center.