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'Mr. Teeth' guardian of Calif. weed stash

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By The Associated Press
Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, 6:32 p.m.

SAN FRANCISCO — Authorities in Northern California made a snappy discovery during a routine probation check: An alligator-like reptile named “Mr. Teeth,” who was protecting a stash of marijuana.

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

Caimans are usually found in the wetland regions of Central and South America. They're considered close relatives of alligators.

“We get guard dogs all 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 said Thursday.

Assif Mayar was arrested on suspicion of possessing marijuana for sale. He could be cited by the California Fish and Game Commission for possessing an exotic animal without a permit. The 32-year-old told deputies he got the caiman to commemorate rapper Tupac Shakur's 1996 death.

Officials at the Oakland Zoo said Mr. Teeth died Wednesday. The caiman was very sick when it arrived at the zoo's hospital.

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