Deputies: Man owning gator without permit at Vero Beach home arrested

Woman also at home arrested, accused of possessing marijuana, cocaine

VERO BEACH, Fla. - A 32-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of illegally owning an alligator during a search warrant at his Vero Beach home.

Members of the Indian River County Sheriff's Office were informed about the alligator while executing a drug search warrant Tuesday afternoon at 32-year-old Tony Curtis Wells, Jr.'s home, located at 6386th 4th Street.

[PHOTOS: Gator in hot tub]

During the search warrant, deputies said Crystal Williams, 26, was sitting on a couch in the living room.

Inside her bedroom, deputies found a purse with Williams' driver's license and other paperwork with her name on it. Deputies said they also found a plastic baggie containing about 2 grams of a "green leafy substance," later identified as marijuana.

While Williams was sitting on the couch, deputies said she was grinding a "white rock-like item" into the carpet. Williams was removed and several pieces of a white rock-like item, later identified by deputies as cocaine, were recovered.

Deputies said Williams was purposefully grinding the suspected cocaine into the carpet.

The alligator was later found contained in a hot tub at the home, and Wells told deputies the alligator was there when he moved in and he was just feeding it.

When asked how long it had been at the house and what he was feeding it, Wells told deputies, "A year. Chicken, just chicken."

After a check of permits through the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, deputies said there were no permits for Wells.

Wells told deputies he did not have a permit to keep the alligator.

Williams was arrested and taken to the county jail by Indian River County's Multi Agency Criminal Enforcement Unit. She was charged with possession of cocaine, tampering with evidence and possession of marijuana. Wells was charged with possession of an alligator without a tag, and was arrested by FWC.

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