Maryland Natural Resources cops snare gator captor

Suitland resident charged with harboring a two-foot alligator in his apartment.

Suitland resident charged with harboring a two-foot alligator in his apartment.

For the second time in less than two weeks, Maryland Natural Resources Police officers seized an illegally owned alligator, this time in Prince George’s County.

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Tyjuan Brian Hopkins, 41, of Suitland was charged Sunday with possessing a dangerous animal. After being issued a citation, he was held for an outstanding arrest warrant on an unrelated matter and turned over to the Prince George’s County Sheriff’s Office.

NRP received a complaint about an alligator being kept as a pet in an apartment. Officers visited the residence to interview Hopkins but he wasn’t home. After obtaining a search warrant, officers were able to seize the two-foot alligator, which was in an aquarium in the living room.

The alligator was taken to the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in Frederick County.

Maryland criminal law prohibits citizens from importing, selling, trading, bartering, possession, breeding or exchanging live wild animals, including alligators, caimans and crocodiles.

Hopkins is due in Prince George’s District Court on Sept. 16. If found guilty, he could be fined as much as $1,000.

On June 19, an Edgewood man was charged with keeping a dangerous animal after officers waded into a pond behind his home to seize a 3-foot alligator and take it to the Catoctin facility.  Charles David Dorsey, 37, is scheduled to appear in Harford District Court on Aug. 19.

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