Associated Press

ACAPULCO, Mexico — Authorities on Mexico’s western Pacific coast say they have detained two suspects who were allegedly transporting 5,830 sea-turtle eggs recently extracted from local beaches.

The office of the attorney general for environmental protection says the eggs were so fresh that they had been taken to a local facility to be reburied in hopes they still would hatch.

Sea turtles are a protected species in Mexico, and extraction of their eggs is punishable by up to nine years in prison.

The office said Monday the suspects allegedly intended to sell the eggs. Both had been arrested before on similar charges and released while awaiting trial.

The office did not specify which of the six species of sea turtles in Mexico the eggs belonged to.