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September 23, 2003
CONTACT: Joy Hill (352) 258-3426

A 32-year-old central Florida man was convicted today in Orange County for felony possession of an American alligator and sentenced to 24 months in prison for his crime.

David Wayne Knight, (DOB 5-8-71), formerly of Christmas, pled guilty to the third-degree felony charge and an additional misdemeanor charge of possession of an American alligator without a permit.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers Guy Carpenter and Herbert Frerking began investigating Knight on August 10 after an Orange County deputy gave them photographs showing a man butchering an alligator in a bathtub. The deputy advised them the man was Knight and he was being held in the Orange County Detention Center on unrelated charges.

Investigators discovered that Knight had killed the alligator on May 14 at Tosohatchee Wildlife Management Area in east Orange County, and took it to his home in Christmas where he cut it up while his girlfriend at the time took photos.

On August 13, Carpenter charged Knight with felony possession of an alligator. In court today, Carpenter presented as evidence the photographs and a scute (a small bone) from the alligator that was made into a key chain with the initials DK written on it.





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