NewsProtecting Paradise


Live alligator found in cooler during traffic stop in Punta Gorda

Christopher Lacey.jpg
Posted at 2:10 PM, Jul 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 08:40:22-04

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- A Punta Gorda man is charged with possession of an alligator after a deputy found a live one in a cooler during a traffic stop.

28-year-old Christopher Lacey was arrested Tuesday morning on Tamiami Trail in Punta Gorda.

According to a Charlotte County Sheriff's Office report, a deputy pulled over a white pickup truck at the intersection with Notre Dame Boulevard just after 9 a.m. The deputy says Lacey was standing in the truck bed while the truck was in motion.

The truck's driver gave the deputy permission to search the vehicle, and when the deputy opened a cooler in the truck bed, he saw a small live alligator inside. Lacey admitted catching the reptile in a ditch along Green Gulf Boulevard in Tropical Gulf Acres.

FWC took possession of the alligator to release it properly. Lacey was booked into the Charlotte County Jail.