Thursday, December 14, 2006

Alligator Bag

The Yuma Sun reported Sunday that the Border Patrol discovered a cayman in a suitcase at their Interstate 8 Foothills checkpoint.

Rebecca Wright, the law enforcement program manager for Game and Fish in Yuma, said she took custody of the roughly 4-year-old reptile after the Border Patrol’s discovery, and that it was quite wily when she got it back to her office to await shipment to a Phoenix animal refuge."

When I took him to my office, he was pretty saucy," Wright said. "He was interested in not being in the pet porter any more, and I was very interested in keeping him in there."

I just love understatement, and Wright does it beautifully.

A Yuma sector Border Patrol spokesman said the discovery was made about 11:30 p.m. during a routine stop through the checkpoint.

A narcotics-detecting dog alerted on the man’s vehicle, and the man, who was not named, consented to a search, said spokesman Lloyd Easterling.

However, it wasn’t the alligator’s scent that alerted the dog, but 13 grams of marijuana that the man was also accused of carrying, Easterling said.

When asked if there was anything else in the car, the man told the inspecting agent about the animal.

"The guy says, ’There’s an alligator in there,’ ” Easterling said. "He says, ‘He’s in the suitcase there.’ And when (the agent) opened the suitcase, sure enough, there was a cayman in there."

The man said he was transporting the cayman from California to a man in Phoenix, which is illegal to do in Arizona without a permit. He was given a citation for having the reptile. Later, he was taken into custody for having the marijuana.

Some days you just can't win.

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