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Florida man found with live alligator during traffic stop, deputies say

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Posted at 2:34 PM, Jul 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-05 16:40:22-04

HARDEE COUNTY, Fla. — Deputies in Hardee County arrested a man on Thursday after he was found with drugs and a live alligator during a traffic stop.

According to the sheriff's office, Anthony Richardson was stopped in the area of State Road 64 and Pioneer Park in Zolfo Springs.

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Investigators found illegal drugs on Richardson and the alligator in a bag inside the vehicle.

The suspect told deputies he had the gator in his front seat before they searched the vehicle.

Richardson told deputies he didn't have an alligator trapping/hunting license, but said he came into possession of the gator through a friend. According to deputies, he said he planned to release it into a river.

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Deputies called the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and released the gator into the Peace River after speaking with a wildlife officer.

Richardson was booked into the Hardee County Jail for multiple drug charges and illegally possessing or capturing an alligator.