Skip to main content Skip to main content

FWC Uncovers Major Alligator Violations in Long-Term Covert Investigation





On Wednesday, May 24, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) officers arrested nine suspects for violations of Florida's laws pertaining to possession of American alligator, alligator egg harvesting, interstate transport of alligator eggs and hatchlings, falsifying official records, dealing in stolen property, conspiracy to commit racketeering, racketeering and other wildlife violations. These serious charges include first-, second- and third-degree felonies.



These charges are the result of a multiyear undercover operation initiated in 2015 by the FWC Division of Law Enforcement's Investigations Section. FWC undercover officers managed to become part of the alligator farming community to gain information and evidence about poachers who were breaking the law in regard to the FWC's public and private lands alligator egg harvesting program and alligator farming.



During the course of the investigation, FWC undercover officers documented numerous criminal violations, resulting in the arrest of nine individuals for 44 felony violations.



Investigators documented over 10,000 illegally harvested eggs during the course of the undercover operation.

“Many of these suspects were part of a criminal conspiracy,” said Maj. Grant Burton, head of the FWC's Investigations Section. “Their crimes pose serious environmental and economic consequences. These suspects not only damage Florida's valuable natural resources, they also harm law-abiding business owners by operating black markets that undermine the legal process.”



Wildlife conservation laws are in place to protect and manage Florida's precious natural resources for legitimate use by the public. When people break those laws, they jeopardize the ability of the state to manage those resources for the future. If left unchecked, this valuable natural resource could have been severely damaged.



There are aspects of this investigation that are still ongoing, and the FWC expects more arrests to be forthcoming.



The public can help by reporting suspected violations to the FWC. To make a report, call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text Tip@MyFWC.com.



The suspects and their charges are as follows:



Robert Kelly Albritton (DOB 01/21/1981) of Arcadia



One felony count of Racketeering.

One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering.

One felony count of Scheme to Defraud.

Fourteen felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Alligator Eggs/Alligators.



Robert Thomas Beasley (DOB 02/05/1979) of Arcadia



One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering.

Six felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Alligator Eggs/Alligators.



David Wentworth Nellis (DOB 10/10/1943) of Punta Gorda



One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering.

One felony count of Uttering a Forged Instrument.

One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligator Eggs.



Carl Wayne Pickle Jr. (DOB 12/22/1969) of Arcadia



One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering.

Four felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Alligator Eggs/Alligators.



Wayne Andrew Nichols (DOB 07/15/1975) of Arcadia



Three felony counts of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.

One felony count of Unlawful Killing of White Ibis.

One first-degree misdemeanor count of Attempting to Take White Ibis.



Christopher Lee Briscall (DOB 01/28/1995) of Fort Denaud



One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.

One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Stolen Property.



Matthew Edward Evors (DOB 10/20/1992) of Cape Coral



One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.

One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Stolen Property.



Isaiah Joseph Romano (DOB 12/17/1994) of Fort Denaud



One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.

One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Stolen Property.



Jacob Oliver Bustin-Pitts (DOB 11/11/1993) of Fort Denaud



One felony count of Unlawful Possession of Alligators.

One felony count of Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Stolen Property.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now