February 14, 2019
A drug bust at a South Coatesville house last week turned up some usual suspects: heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana, and $5,000 in cash, authorities said.
But when police searched in the house’s kitchen, they also found an alligator.
Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan’s office issued a press release Thursday with information on the … unique raid that went down on Feb. 8.
The alligator, which the accused drug dealers claimed was a smaller but related species of reptile call a caiman, turned out to be an American alligator, according to the D.A.’s office. It’s currently about three feet long, but American alligators can reach 10 to 15 feet and 1,000 pounds, according to National Geographic.
“Drug dealers will do just about anything to project an image of danger in order to protect their drugs and cash. Some drug dealers use pit bulls or snakes,” Hogan said in the release. “These drug traffickers kept an alligator in the house. But at the end of the day, the police seized their drugs and money, and the alligator is headed to the zoo."
The Chester County D.A.’s office unfortunately didn’t give the little gator a name, but it was placed in the Brandywine Zoo in Wilmington, Delaware, under the care of Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control.
The alligator will be an educational animal at the Brandywine Zoo this summer, and then taken to the St. Augustine Alligator Farm and Zoological Park in St. Augustine, Florida.
Police charged three men — Irvin Hawkins, 31, of South Coatesville; Aki Gathright, 35, of Philadelphia; and Tyrone Jackson, 40, of Columbia — with drug trafficking and related offenses, according to the Hogan's office.
According to the release, the three men have not been additionally charged with possession of an alligator.