Police caught Ariel Michelle Marchan Le Quire, 26, with the reptiles after a routine traffic stop in Florida last May.
Le Quire has since pleaded guilty to possessing an American alligator, possessing more than one turtle per day, transporting more than one turtle or turtle eggs and one count of possessing a softshell turtle, Fox News reports.
A judge sentenced her to six months of probation and 200 hours of community service, according to court records. She was also ordered to donate US$500 to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Committee.
Le Quire was in the passenger’s seat of a car when police pulled the driver over in Punta Gorda at around 3:30 a.m. on May 6, the Miami Herald reported at the time.
Le Quire and the driver claimed they were collecting snakes and frogs from underneath a nearby overpass, according to the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff’s deputies searched the car and discovered 41 three-striped turtles. An officer asked the duo if they had anything else, and Le Quire responded by revealing the 30-centimetre-long alligator in her pants, according to police.
The turtles were appropriately hidden in a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” backpack.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission were called in to help investigate and took over her case following the discovery.
The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office shared a humorous post about the incident to their Twitter account.
The tweet read: “Not to be outdone by the #FloridaMan, a #FloridaWoman pulled this alligator out of her pants Monday morning during a traffic stop after being asked the standard, ‘Do you have anything else?'”
Not to be outdone by #Floridaman, a #FloridaWoman pulled this alligator out of her pants this morning during traffic stop after being asked the standard "Do you have anything else?" She also had 41 3-stripe turtles in the car. @MyFWC responded to take over the investigation. pic.twitter.com/UdZsDBvh9f
— Charlotte County Sheriff's Office (@CCSOFLSheriff) May 6, 2019
Charges are still pending against the driver of the vehicle.
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