2 Homosassa men face multiple charges
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Media contact: Karen Parker, 386-758-0525
Two Homosassa residents were arrested Oct. 21 by
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers
and Citrus County Sheriff's Office deputies on multiple violations
of venomous reptile, gun and drug laws.
Nathan Andrew Wilkerson (DOB 05/25/90) and Thomas
Wayne Hale Jr. (DOB 01/07/91) were arrested after being served
search warrants at their residence on Bennett Point.
"We went into the house looking for venomous
snakes," said Lt. Steve Farmer, FWC investigations supervisor. "The
Citrus County Sheriff's Office contacted us after they had
investigated a home-invasion robbery at this residence. The
detectives conducting that investigation saw numerous containers
housing live snakes scattered throughout the residence.
"The detectives were concerned that some of the
snakes could be dangerous, so they contacted the FWC. We checked
Mr. Wilkerson and found he didn't have any of the permits required
to possess venomous reptiles or reptiles of concern, such as
Burmese pythons," Farmer said.
In their search of the residence, FWC and Citrus
County deputies discovered numerous violations. Wilkerson and Hale
were charged with:
- Possession of venomous reptiles without a permit (3 counts:
Eastern diamondback rattlesnake, pygmy rattlesnake and
- Possession of conditional species without a permit (Burmese
- Unsafe caging conditions (4 counts);
- Failure to identify a species of special concern. (The snake
did not have the required passive integrated transponder or
The above charges are second-degree misdemeanors,
according to FWC officials.
(by Citrus County Sheriff's Office)
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon (2 counts);
- Possession of a firearm with serial numbers
- Felony drug possession (marijuana packaged to sell,
prescription drugs not assigned, drugs not properly labeled);
- Possession of drug paraphernalia;
- Felony animal abuse (multiple counts, turned over to Citrus
County Animal Control officers).
"This is an outstanding example of our two agencies
working together," Farmer said. "We wouldn't have known about this
case without the help of the Citrus County Sheriff's Office
detectives investigating another case."