Illegal snapping turtle found hidden in man's washer, dirty laundry, FWC says

Man kept turtle without permit, officers say

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DeLAND, Fla. - Sea turtle nesting season may be in full swing, but one turtle's unusual nest inside a DeLand man's dirty laundry landed the owner in jail.

Florida Wildlife Commission officers say they found an alligator snapping turtle, a protected species which requires a permit to own, inside a washing machine in the home of Arneek Wright, 43, on Monday

But the turtle wasn't alone. Officials say they also found pythons, lizards and more turtles in the home.

Although no permit is required to keep those reptiles, Wright is being charged with tampering with physical evidence, failure to allow inspection of captive wildlife and failure to provide his turtles with a basking platform, which is a surface that allows turtles to get out of the water. Another charge, possessing a protected species without a permit, is pending.

FWC officers report that Wright tried to prevent them from re-entering the house after they did an initial sweep without Wright present and found numerous reptiles in plain sight and in a closet.

Wright snuck into the house while officers were outside and tried to hide some reptiles, including the illegal turtle, officers said. After the landlord let them in, officers said Wright showed them where the turtle was, which was under dirty laundry in his washing machine.

Wright was booked into Volusia County Jail.

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