A Florida Man allegedly found with an alligator in his bathtub is facing several charges after the authorities asserted that he was a participant in a venomous reptile trafficking ring.
In 2020, The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was notified by more than one person about black market sales of illegal venomous reptiles in the state. An investigation was started by the FWC and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources regarding the allegations.
The authorities learned that the alleged activity was happening on the internet.
Undercover investigators began to contact the people allegedly trading and selling, and over 200 snakes native to various countries were found.
According to reports, one of the men posted a picture of a venomous snake on Snapchat. An agent saw the post and sent a message to the account from which the picture was posted.
The agent reportedly showed interest in obtaining the coral snake, and the person told them to come to their house for the reptile.
When the agent went to the address, they reported that the man had a 4-to-5-foot alligator in the bathtub, in addition to a large python. The coral snake was reportedly sitting in an unsecured container.
The man was taken into custody for suspicion of possession of an American Alligator, child Neglect, possession of prohibited species, possession of venomous reptile without a permit, possession of captive wildlife without a permit (ESB), possession of threatened species, unsafe conditions, illegal harvest of freshwater turtles, caging and biosecurity, no enclosure label (prohibited species), no critical incident plan, no or incomplete records for wildlife, transfer of prohibited species to/from unlicensed person, improper primary enclosure for venomous reptile, improper secondary enclosure for venomous reptile, no bite protocol, improper caging of Class 2 wildlife transporting turtle eggs, and feeding alligators. He was later released on bond.
In an interview with a local news outlet, the man said he had pet corn snakes, but nothing illegal. He also said he did not have an alligator in the bathtub.
If you or someone you love is suspected of a criminal offense, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.