A South Florida man has been arrested after police say he took alligators from the Miami area to the Caribbean and ate them in a “furtherance of a crime.”
James David Taylor, 53, of Little River Falls was traveling between Miami and Nassau from the Bahamas to visit his parents, who reside in the Caribbean island, authorities said Thursday.
But authorities say Taylor, who was arrested Thursday and charged with felony animal cruelty over the incident, was attempting to sell the heads taken off fish ? and possibly others ? before he was stopped by law enforcement.
The headless heads ? ranging in size from 3- to 12-feet in length ? were found Sunday aboard a Miami-bound flight from Miami to Nassau, where an animal control officer told Taylor to turn them over to authorities, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
A Miami-Dade County police officer then noticed a black bag “wrapped around the outside of the aircraft,” and found alligator heads inside of it, according to the report.
Taylor told police he “had to eat the heads to sustain an early flight” to Nassau, according to the report.
Taylor told police he was taking the meat “for a friend who had some fish that was dying in his fish tank,” according to the report.
But authorities say some of the “headless fish” that Taylor described were actually alligator specimens and were taken by animal control officers for testing.
The National Transportation Safety Board confirmed the headless bodies were from Florida alligators, as were some of the “sharks” that were collected for tests of DNA.
Taylor has not been charged with any crime.