Large pet gator-like reptile found guarding Calif. pot stash

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Thursday, January 10, 2013 3:28 pm

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. (AP) -- Zoo officials say a five-foot-long alligator-like reptile named "Mr. Teeth" that had apparently been protecting a stash of marijuana in a Northern California home has died.

Oakland Zoo officials said Thursday that the 5-foot-long caiman died Wednesday, a day after it was seized by Alameda County Sheriff's during a probation check at a home in Castro Valley.

Zoo officials say that the caiman arrived at the zoo critically ill and non-responsive.

Sgt. J.D. Nelson said Mr. Teeth was likely used to deter marijuana thieves. Suspect Assif Mayar told deputies he got the gator to commemorate rapper Tupac Shakur's 1996 death.

He was arrested and in jail on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale.

A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Authorities in Northern California made a snappy discovery during a routine probation check: An alligator named "Mr. Teeth" who was apparently protecting a stash of marijuana.

When Alameda County Sheriff's deputies on Wednesday entered Assif Mayar's home in Castro Valley for a probation check, they not only found 34 pounds of marijuana valued at an estimated $100,000, but also the 5-foot-long gator inside a Plexiglas tank guarding it in a bedroom.

"We get guard dogs all of the time when we search for grow houses and people stashing away all types of dope. But alligators? You just don't see that every day," Sgt. J.D. Nelson told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Mr. Teeth was likely used to deter marijuana thieves, Nelson said. Mayar, 32, told deputies he got the gator to commemorate rapper Tupac Shakur's 1996 death.

"We have come across alligators before, but nobody can remember one this big and situated in such close proximity to act sort of as a sentry to the marijuana," Nelson said.

Mayar, who is on probation after pleading guilty last year to disturbing the peace, was arrested and was taken to the county jail on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale. He could also face citations from the California Fish and Game Commission, including possession of an exotic animal without a permit.

Alameda County animal control officers eventually took Mr. Teeth to the Oakland Zoo. Officials there said the gator was very sick and was being treated at the zoo's veterinary hospital.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
  • 2 Don't Threaten or Abuse. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated. AND PLEASE TURN OFF CAPS LOCK.
  • 3 Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
  • 4 Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 5 Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 6 Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

Welcome to the discussion.

SUBMIT PHOTOS & VIDEOS | VIEW ALL PHOTOS & VIDEOS

Send your photos & videos to Pix@MySuncoast.com and you could be featured on ABC 7 & our website.