Orleans Parish Man Charged with Illegal Possession of Piranha, Alligator and Drug Paraphernalia
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Division agents cited an Orleans Parish man for alleged illegal possession of piranha, a live alligator and drug paraphernalia on Jan. 8.
On Dec. 20, 2012 the LDWF agents received a complaint about an apartment tenant that possessed a live alligator and had left it unattended to leave for Christmas vacation.
Agents responded to the residence of Quinn Vanderbosch, 22, of New Orleans. The agents were granted access to the apartment by a roommate and observed an alligator in a large plastic bin and a large fish tank with piranha swimming.
Agents returned to the residence with a search warrant to seize the illegal fish and alligator, as well as various drug paraphernalia left out in the open.
Agents cited Vanderbosch for possession of a live alligator without a permit, possession of a prohibited species (piranha), and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Due to the similarities with Louisiana waters and the piranha’s natural habitat, as well as the fish’s invasive nature, the fish are strictly forbidden to be possessed or sold within the state with the only exceptions being the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium of the Americas with an LDWF permit.
Possession of an alligator carries $250 to $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. Possession of piranha brings a $400 to $950 fine and up to 120 days in jail. Possession of drug paraphernalia is determined by the presiding judge.
Agents involved in the case are Senior Agent Jared Taylor and Sgt. Kris Bourgeois of LDWF and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Special Agent Scotty Boudreaux.