Florida woman sentenced to probation after pulling live alligator from her pants during traffic stop
A Florida woman has been sentenced to probation after allegedly pulling an alligator out of her yoga pants during a traffic stop, according to WGHP.
Ariel Machan Le-Quire, 25, was arrested on May 6 around 3:30 a.m. after officers stopped her and 22-year-old Michael Clemons for running a stop sign in Punta Gorda, Fla.
The two suspects told officers they had been trying to collect snakes and frogs from underneath an overpass earlier that night. Police searched the vehicle and found 41 turtles, which were being held in a "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" backpack.
That finding led officers to ask Machan-Le Quire if she had anything else hiding in the car. She proceeded to pull a footlong alligator out of her yoga pants, according to the Miami Herald.
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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was called to take over, and the two suspects were charged with a number of animal-related crimes.
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 possessing a soft-shell turtle — all of which are crimes in the state of Florida.
Machan-Le Quire was also cited for failing to appear in court in July. She was held in jail on a $10,000 bond and released before a judge for sentencing last Wednesday.
The 25-year-old pleaded guilty to illegally possessing wild animals and was given six months probation. She is also required to complete 200 hours of community service and must donate $500 to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee. The charges against Clemons are still pending.
Florida, which is home to around 1.25 million alligators, is no stranger to gator-related news.
In May, a 10-foot alligator broke into a Florida home by smashing through its floor-to-ceiling windows. It took 10 police officers and two trappers to remove the animal.
In April, a family in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., woke up to find an alligator resting at the bottom of their pool. Both homeowner Mike Evans and the trapper who removed the animal were shocked by its size.
"The trapper came out here with some gear to get a 6-foot alligator out," Evans said. "He said, 'That thing's 9 feet,' and he went back and got bigger gear. It was kind of nuts."