Martin County man charged with illegally killing alligator for its meat near Lake Okeechobee

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - A Palm City man illegally shot and killed an alligator near Lake Okeechobee for its meat, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says. 

Officers arrested Donald Daggett in Palm Beach County on Oct. 21 and charged him with illegally killing the alligator. 

A woman reported the March 12 incident to authorities on June 26, according to an arrest report. 

The woman gave investigators a plastic bag full of alligator meat and video and pictures showing Daggett and another man taking an alligator from a ditch, the report states.

The men are accused of loading the alligator into Daggett's truck at an Army Corp of Engineering construction project on Lake Okeechobee in Palm Beach County. More photos show the two men cleaning the alligators and then dumping them. 

Records show Martin County sheriff deputies arrested Daggett in July for sexual cyber harassment toward the same woman, unrelated to the alligator investigation. Daggett was driving his same work vehicle seen in the pictures and videos at the time of this arrest. 

A search of the vehicle by FWC scientists found alligator blood traces in the bed of the truck.

The woman said she went with Daggett, another man and the man’s girlfriend to the construction site with a rifle in March, an officer wrote in the report. 

She said the four of them drove around a canal until they found an alligator. Daggett shot the alligator and then handed her the spent rifle cartridge, the report states. 

The two men went into the ditch to get the alligator, noticed it was still alive and shot it again. They then loaded it into the back of the truck. 

Later on they all drove down the road toward the 16500 block of SW Conners Hwy. The men could be seen in the pictures and video cleaning and bagging two alligators, according to the report.

The woman told officers Daggett then drove to a bridge and threw the alligator carcasses off the bridge.

Daggett was released from the Palm Beach County Jail on Oct. 21 on $4,500 bond. 

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