Woman Sentenced After Pulling Alligator from Pants During Traffic Stop
A Florida woman who pulled an alligator out of her pants during a traffic stop in May has been sentenced, reports said.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office said Ariel Machan-Le Quire, 25, was in the passenger seat of a car being driven by Michael Clemons, 22, on May 6 when they were pulled over for running a stop sign in Punta Gorda. Both individuals told a deputy they were collecting snakes and frogs underneath a nearby overpass.
Machan-Le Quire and Clemons gave officers permission to search the trunk of the vehicle, whereupon the deputy found a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” backpack stuffed with 41 3-stripe turtles.
The deputy confronted the two individuals about the animals and inquired as to whether or not there were any more inside the vehicle.
Machan-Le Quire then pulled out a 1-foot alligator from inside her yoga pants.
Machan-Le Quire was charged with “possessing an American alligator, possessing more than one turtle per day, transporting more than one turtle or turtle eggs and one count of possessing a softshell turtle,” according to the Miami Herald.
In Florida, it is illegal to kill, injure, capture, or possess alligators if you do not have a permit. Additionally, there are more than a million alligators in the sunshine state and reptiles are protected under state law, according to ABC News.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) website stated that alligators can be found in all 67 counties and that they inhabit marshes, swamps, rivers and lakes.
However, the FWC warned humans to stay away from the animals in order to maintain a peaceful coexistence.
Reports said that Machan-Le Quire listed herself as homeless on an arrest report and said she was living in Fort Myers. She was found guilty on all counts by a court on Wednesday and sentenced to 24 months probation.
In addition, Machan-Le Quire will complete 200 hours of community service and is required to make a $500 donation to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Fund.