News Releases

Alligator DNA leads FWC to accused poacher

News Release

Friday, May 28, 2010

Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

An 8-month old case is cracked, thanks to DNA. Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) charged a Broward County man with the illegal killing of an American alligator, a felony.

Mark M. Montgomery (DOB 07/22/87) of Pompano Beach was arrested on a warrant Thursday and booked into the Broward County jail.

Work on the case began in October of 2009, when the FWC received a complaint from a man who claimed he had witnessed the alligator being poached at a boat ramp at the west end of Lox Road in Water Conservation Area 2 in Broward County. The complainant said he watched Montgomery use marshmallows to bait the alligator and then fire several rounds from a .22-caliber rifle into the alligator's head and put the carcass into the bed of his truck. The man noted the vehicle's tag information.

At the boat ramp, officers took samples from several blood pools and recovered several spent .22 rounds. They went to Montgomery's home, where they found the truck parked in the driveway. Officers questioned Montgomery, and he denied any involvement. Officers also took samples of blood from the bed of the truck.

At the FWC's forensic lab in Boca Raton, the samples tested positive for alligator blood. A warrant for Montgomery's arrest was issued earlier this month.

Alligators are protected under federal and state laws. Alligators can be legally taken only by individuals with proper licenses and permits. 

FWC Facts:
Male Florida panthers can weigh as much as 150 pounds, but average 120 to 130 pounds. Females average 70 to 75 pounds.

Learn More at AskFWC