Florida man had baby alligator in front seat of his car, deputies say

(Hardee County Sheriff's Office)

Deputies in Hardee County arrested a man for possessing illegal drugs, only to find he also had an alligator in the front seat of his car.

Investigators said they found drugs after stopping Anthony Richardson in Zolfo Springs on the Fourth of July.

But when detectives went to search his car, Richardson told them he had a live alligator in his front seat.

According to the sheriff's office, Richardson admitted he did not have an alligator trapping or hunting license. He told investigators that a friend had given him the gator, and he planned on releasing it into a nearby river.

Deputies searched the vehicle and found a baby alligator in a black bag with its mouth taped shut in the front seat.

After consulting with a wildlife officer from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, detectives removed the tape from the gator's mouth and released it into the Peace River.

Richardson was booked into the Hardee County Jail on multiple drug charges and for illegally possessing or capturing an alligator.