Los Angeles: Two men were arrested yesterday and early this morning, August 24, 2005, on conspiracy charges related to the illegal possession of exotic animals and the release of an alligator into Machado Lake in San Pedro.
The arrests came after a citizen tip led detectives to the 1900 block of Elanita Street, San Pedro. Accompanied by Los Angeles City Animal Services, California State Department of Fish and Game, and Federal Fish and Wildlife officers, LAPD detectives served a search warrant yesterday, around 7 PM. The resident, Anthony Brewer, 36, was arrested after investigators found evidence of an alligator habitat, photographs of alligators, narcotics, and two live snapping turtles.
The investigation led detectives to a second location the same night at 2530 South Moray Street, San Pedro. Todd Natow, 42, was arrested around 3 AM this morning, after detectives served a second search warrant and found Natow in possession of 3 alligators, 4 Piranha fish, 1 rattlesnake, 3 desert tortoises, 6 desert tortoise eggs, 1 scorpion, and 6 live marijuana plants (approximately 10 pounds).
Investigators believe the conspiracy included Brewer giving the alligator, named Reggie, to Natow, who later released it into Machado Lake.
All the animals seized were in good physical condition. They are currently in the care of the State Department of Fish and Game.
Anyone with information on this investigation is asked to call the LAPD 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).