Amazingly, it didn’t happen in Florida, but in Oxnard, California.
Detectives performed a drug raid on a man’s home and were shocked to find not only heroin, methamphetamines, and cocaine — but a live alligator, too. Call it a gator-raid.
Now, Donny Askar, 45, has been sentenced to 60 days in jail and one year of probation for his unlawful possession of the restricted species, according to the Ventura County district attorney’s office.
In a press release issued Wednesday, District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced that Askar pleaded guilty to the bizarre crime, which he committed more than a year before.
“On March 2, 2021, Oxnard Police Department officers and the Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel searched Askar’s Channel Islands Harbor home and discovered the alligator,” the release stated.
According to KTLA-TV, when detectives discovered the gator at Askar’s residence, it was four feet long and “submerged in a poorly secured tank with rancid water.” Photos released to the media show the gator with duct tape sealing its jaws shut. However, it was not clear whether the tape was applied by Askar or by law enforcement officers.
Members of the Oxnard Police Department’s Drug Enforcement Unit and California’s Fish and Wildlife service were at the residence after securing a search warrant under suspicion that Askar was in possession of narcotics.
Askar was initially arrested on suspicion of possession for sale of heroin and methamphetamine, animal cruelty, and illegal possession of an alligator, the Sacramento Bee reported. On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to drug charges and unlawful possession of the alligator.
“California law classifies alligators as a restricted species,” Nasarenko noted in the release. “Persons wishing to possess a restricted species of animal must obtain a permit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Askar did not possess a restricted species permit for the alligator.”
The district attorney added that the gator could have easily escaped and further threatened the public due to its insecure enclosure. Upon its discovery, the animal was taken to a secure location.
For his crimes, Askar has also been ordered to pay restitution to the Fish and Game Preservation Fund.