Arrests made for possession and sale of alligators

DELIGHT (AGFC)  – What began as a simple traffic stop Jan. 30 led to several citations for illegal possession and sale of alligators.

An Arkansas State Police trooper pulled over Patrick Fenton and Jerry Allen on Arkansas Highway 19 in Pike County. During the traffic stop, the trooper noticed a diaper box that turned out to have a baby alligator in it.

The trooper immediately contacted AGFC wildlife officers. The trooper took the two men to the Pike County Sheriff's Office where they were met by the wildlife officers. During questioning, Fenton told authorities that he got the alligator from John J. Lloyd III in Hope.

The following day, wildlife officers obtained a search warrant for Lloyd's house at 1410 S. Elm St. in Hope. Lloyd was found inside the house along with a storage bin that contained six small alligators. Lloyd told wildlife officers that he received nine small alligators from John Postlethwait. Postlethwait took the alligators from a pond in Hempstead County.

Lloyd said Patrick Fenton had offered to buy an alligator for $25. Lloyd said he sold two alligators to Allen for $40 and methamphetamine. After talking with Lloyd, wildlife officers obtained a search warrant for Allen's residence in McCaskill, but no alligators were found at the residence.

Wildlife officers contacted Allen and Fenton again and agreed to meet at Fenton's residence in Delight. The two men admitted to purchasing the alligators. Allen said he was buying the alligators for a friend he identified as Jim Jordan. Officers contacted Robert J. "Jim" Jordan of Blevins. Jordan said he paid Allen $40 and five gallons of gas for the two alligators. A friend of Jordan, Eddie Evans, took two of the alligators to a nearby pond and released them after Jordan learned the alligators were illegal to possess. Wildlife officers retrieved the two alligators from the pond. After the intensive two-day investigation, wildlife officers were able to collect nine baby alligators.

Fenton received a citation for taking of an alligator, which carries a fine of up to $2,500 and 90 days in jail, and selling of wildlife, which has a fine of up to $5,000 and a year in jail. Lloyd received a citation for selling of wildlife and with taking of an alligator. Allen received a citation for taking of alligators and selling wildlife. Jordan was given a citation for taking of an alligator. Evans received a citation for aiding, accompanying and abetting a violation which carries up to a $1,000 fine and up to 30 days in jail. Postlethwait received a citation for taking of an alligator.

All suspects were given an April 2, 2012 court date in Hempstead County.