Two men in Florida were caught with 260 baby alligators on their airboat. Both Robert “Bo” Martin Duval, 32, and Christopher Cork Scroggins, 22, both of Bushnell were arrested and face a third-degree felony. They were caught when Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers approached their boat and found the hatchlings.
“You have got me, and I have a lot of alligator hatchlings,” Duval said.
The baby hatchlings were confiscated after a search of the boat. Illegal possessing/capturing of alligators is a third-degree felony that carries a penalty of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, according to The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
There was also a gun hidden on the boat that the officers found. Duval who is once a convicted felon will face additional charges because he’s not allowed to possess firearms or ammunition.
The wildlife officers returned all 260 hatchlings alive back into the water.
“Unfortunately, there is an illegal market for hatchling alligators, and people who participate in this type of poaching have no regard for our resources or the laws that protect them,” said Straub.
A woman who aided the men when they docked may also face charges. Both Duval and Scroggins were released from Lake county jail shortly after their arrest on $13,000 and $3,000 bonds, respectively. On top of the possible five-year prison for baby alligator poaching charges, Duvall is looking at an additional 15 year maximum for the gun charge.