35 poached alligators found on truck; 2 men arrested
Friday, September 17, 2010
Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459
An early morning traffic stop Thursday by Glades
County Sheriff's Office deputies led to the arrest of two men on
charges of alligator poaching. When deputies stopped a pickup on
Highway 78 near Moore Haven and looked in the bed of the truck,
they discovered 36 dead alligators piled on top of each other and a
bag containing 19 live alligator hatchings. Only one of the
alligators was legally tagged.
At that point, deputies called officers with the
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to
FWC investigators charged Joel M. Green of Fort
Myers (DOB 11/29/62) and Donald T. Strenth (DOB 10/12/87) of Moore
Haven with 54 felony counts each on illegal possession of American
alligators. Both men are being held at the Glades County Jail with
The alligators were taken to a licensed processor,
and the hides will be retained for evidence. The live hatchlings
were returned to the wild. It is unclear where the alligators came
from or what the men were doing with them.
"We hope this case sends a strong message to any
would-be poachers," said FWC investigator Capt. Jeff Ardelean. "We
will find you and hold you accountable for wildlife law
American alligators are protected under state law.
It is unlawful to kill, injure, capture or possess, or to attempt
to kill, injure, capture or possess an American alligator without
authorization from the FWC.