Wildlife officials: Man tried to hide turtle in washer

5:07 PM, Mar 26, 2013   |    comments
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DELAND, Fla. (WESH) - Wildlife officials investigating a complaint said a man tried to hide a protected turtle in a washing machine.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers went to a DeLand home on Boundary Street to investigate a report that Arneek Wright, 43, had illegal animals in his home.

A relative let the officers into the home where they found snakes, lizards and turtles.

All of the animals were legal for him to own, but an alligator snapping turtle found in the home is protected and requires a permit to possess.

The officers went outside to get equipment from their truck, at which point Wright returned home and locked the doors and closed the blinds, officials said.

When the landlord let the officers back in, the turtle was gone.

According to officials, Wright had hidden it underneath dirty laundry in the washing machine.

Wright is charged with tampering with physical evidence, failure to allow inspection and a captive wildlife caging violation. A charge of possession of a protected species without a permit is pending.

First Coast News

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