'Mr. Teeth' guardian of Calif. weed stash
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.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- License plate scanner networks gotcha
- Convicted Florida felon kills his 6 grandchildren, daughter, self
- FBI, federal marshals join manhunt for survivalist accused of ambushing troopers
- Home Depot warns 56 million cards at risk
- House panel OKs move to split Amtrak, focus on profitable Northeast Corridor
- Al-Qaida cell poses as great a danger as ISIS
- Deputy vanishes amid Texas flooding
- Amid California drought, pop-up wetlands
- Rescuers end Pacific Ocean search for Navy fighter pilot
- Hurdles for Obama health care law in 2nd sign-up season
- Rare respiratory illness reported in at least 10 states