When you think of alligators in America, Florida’s Everglades, Louisiana’s bayous, a place like South Carolina’s Magnolia Plantation or, you know, the zoo, all come to mind as likely habitats, but Atlantic City, N.J. doesn’t — until now.
Police executing a search warrant related to the death of Adam O’Gara by drug overdose in Atlantic City on Tuesday were hoping they would get their man. Not only did they arrest 25-year-old Jamal Campos, but they also searched 80 rooms at the Bayview Inn & Suites and made six more arrests on unrelated outstanding warrants, CBS Philadelphia reported.
Tariq Heard, 27, Chinaisy Rodriguez, 25, Gazelle Williams, 40, Jonathon Frith, 25, Ravil Magianov, 59, and Bashaun Whitted, 25, were also arrested. 33 adults and children had to leave the motel.
Campos, the Daily Journal reported, has been charged with a host of crimes, including: first-degree strict liability homicide drug induced death; first-degree leader of a narcotics trafficking network; third-degree possession with intent to distribute heroin; and third-degree possession of heroin.
What no one involved in the police raid anticipated was finding an alligator, of all things, swimming in the motel pool.
The creature was 3 feet long.
It may go without saying, but alligators don’t just hang out in New Jersey. There was an incident in May 2017 in Secaucus, N.J., where a gator was found in a duck pond. Other than that, you have to go back a while to find something like this.
In 2011, NJ.com reported, another drug bust in Atlantic City also turned up two small alligators.
Authorities said it wasn’t clear where the alligator came from, how it got into the pool or how long it had been there. Animal control workers safely lifted the alligator from the pool.
The gator was then transported to the Cape May County Zoo.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.