Walking up to the van, the cop immediately smelled the pot which gave him enough probable cause to yank them out of the van. Inside the van, they found more than 100 small critters destined for Emerald Coral & Reptiles Pet Store (which is apparently under investigation for allegedly purchasing non-permitted wildlife and re-selling them with possibly falsified permits or on the black market).
It didn't appear that the animals had been abused or neglected. I'm sure these two idiots got paid per animal so it wasn't in their best interests to arrive at Emerald Coral & Reptiles with a van full of dead reptiles.
The few hermit crabs and the red snake are native to Florida so they released them to live happily ever after. However, the iguanas, lizards and geckos were not so lucky.
|NOTHING TO SMILE ABOUT|
They killed this little lizard for no reason except he wasn't
native to Florida and the 2 men did not have permits for him.
Why? What did they do to deserve death?
Because they're not native to Florida, they couldn't be released. So? Assign the proper permits to the animals and send them to a qualified reptile rescue. But, see, wildlife agencies don't do that. It's easier for them to simply kill the animals.
Anyway, looks like Ashtyn Rance picked up some additional charges since the January arrest and the judge slapped a $65,000 bond on him so he might still be cooling his jets at the county jail right now.
Fort Pierce man jailed in sale of pink toe tarantulas, boas, other exotics
TC Palm - June 2, 2017
A Fort Pierce man accused of improperly selling a variety of exotic animals, including pink toe tarantulas and Brazilian rainbow boas, was arrested on more than 10 charges, according to records released this week.
Ashtyn Michael Rance, 31, of the 10300 block of Orange Avenue in Fort Pierce, was arrested Wednesday on 12 misdemeanor counts of possession of captive wildlife for commercial or sanctuary purposes without a permit and a single misdemeanor count related to having a nile monitor.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigation began after Rance in May 2016 was denied a license for the commercial sale/exhibit/display of so-called Class III wildlife, which includes skunks, parrots, snakes, geckos, finches, foxes and frogs.
By comparison, Class I wildlife includes lions, hippopotamuses, bears and elephants — animals “that pose a significant danger to people,” according to the FWC. Class II wildlife, which also can pose a danger, includes bobcats, howler monkeys, dwarf crocodiles and wolverines.
In June 2016, an investigator reported seeing Rance in Hillsborough County at a reptile exposition with Class III wildlife for commercial purposes.
A month after that, investigators got information “on Facebook that Rance continued to commercially sell captive wildlife without a license.” Rance also posted pictures of himself importing creatures from Guyana, records show.
Investigators said that Rance on a Facebook page stated he used another entity’s license, but investigators say that license is for a different address in Palm Bay and in Rance’s case is not allowed.
Other records gotten through a Facebook search warrant and PayPal subpoena show arrangements for payment from people via PayPal for animals including collared lizards, red foot tortoises and blue iguanas.
Rob Klepper, a spokesman for FWC, said whether the people who bought the creatures did anything inappropriate depends on the laws of their state. At least one person was in Colorado and one in Georgia.
“His violations were in regards to the sale of these animals, not necessarily the possession,” Klepper said.
One $2,720 direct deposit was for a variety of creatures including 10 Nile monitors. It’s illegal to possess those without a permit, Klepper said.
Nile monitors are non-native lizards that can grow to more than 5 feet and weigh nearly 15 pounds.
Rance was cited two previous times by FWC, and warned four previous times, according to Klepper.
Records provided by FWC show Rance in 2014 was convicted of possession of a venomous reptile without a license in Brevard County. That related to a dusky pygmy rattlesnake.
Rance was also convicted of cruelty to animals in 2006 in Palm Beach County.
“The FWC promotes responsible ownership of captive wildlife, and it is the goal of the FWC to develop the best regulations possible that provide for public safety, animal welfare, and the legitimate use of wildlife for educational, exhibition, or personal purposes,” Klepper said via email. “Florida’s captive wildlife regulations are among the most stringent in the nation.”
Rance was held Friday in the St. Lucie County Jail on $65,000 bail, a jail official said.
Full Name: Ashtyn Michael Rance
Arrest Age: 31
Time: 4:46 PM
Arresting Agency: Florida Fish and Wildlife
Location: St. Lucie County, Florida
Total Bond: $65,000
#1 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#2 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#3 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#4 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#5 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#6 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#7 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#8 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#9 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#10 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#11 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#12 Exhibition And Sale Of Wildlife W/o A Permit. BOND: $5000
#13 Possession Of Prohibited Reptile. BOND: $5000