GLADES COUNTY, Fla. - Two men face charges of alligator poaching after an early Thursday morning traffic stop.
Deputies in Glades County pulled over a pickup on Highway 78 near Moore Haven.
In the bed of the truck deputies say they found 36 dead alligators in a pile. They say only one was legally tagged. They also discovered 19 live alligator hatchlings in a bag.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission was called and officers arrested Joel M. Green of Fort Myers and Donald T. Strenth of Moore Haven and charged them with 54 felony counts each on illegal possession of American alligators.
Both are currently being held without bond at the Glades County Jail.
FWC say the hides will be retained for evidence and the hatchlings were returned to the wild.
Investigators haven't yet discovered where the alligators came from or what the men were doing with them.
State law protects American alligators. Wildlife officers say it is illegal to kill, injure, capture or possess them without authorization.
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