Florida Friday: Police find gator in drug dealer’s hot tub, dealer: “He was there when I moved in.”

I’m sure “gator in the tub” is some sort of Florida slang, perhaps swamp talk for having a “bee in your bonnet,” or “sharpest tool in the shed,” but last week it was also literal for a drug dealer in Treasure Coast, Florida. (That “treasure?” You guessed it, gators.) Police searched the dealer’s house for drugs, and found an alligator living in his hot tub. The dealer just shrugged, saying it was there when he moved in. “Let sleeping gators lie,” I believe that’s another Floridian aphorism.

From WESH:

The Indian River County Sheriff’s Office drug unit was serving an arrest warrant on Tuesday at a home on 4th Street when they found the gator in a hot tub in the backyard.

Having an above-ground hot tub in your backyard, and a gator living in it, is double Florida points, where all the snakes count quadruple from here on out. Sidenote: why would you need a hot tub in Florida? You want to be hot and wet, just go outside.

“They’re keeping it contained in a small area like that that’s not really nice. No, it’s not good for the animal,” said neighbor Elizabeth Drouin.


“Now we’ve seen alligators in swimming pools, we’ve seen them on driveways, in drainage ditches and ponds near houses,” said Indian River Sheriff’s Office spokesman Thomas Raulen.

“I seen gators in stews, gators in dentist’s chairs, shit, one time I done saw a gator flyin’ an aeroplane. Aw heckfire, what was I talkin’ about again?”

“I believe this is probably the first time we’ve ever actually seen a gator in a hot tub.”

The man who lives in the home told detectives the alligator was there when he moved in and he was just feeding it.

I like to imagine him grilling up some skirt steak, and casually throwing one to the gator. “That your gator, Pete?”

“Mine? Nope. Shoot, I don’t even know where he come from. I just figure probably best not have him back here hungry.”

Florida Fish and Wildlife officials removed and relocated the animal. Tony Wells was charged with possession of an alligator. Crystal Williams was charged with possession of cocaine, tampering with evidence and possession of marijuana.

Phew, I was worried they came in looking for drugs and found an alligator instead. “Oh no, there was definitely some drugs, the alligator was just a bonus.”