Alligator DNA leads FWC to accused poacher
Friday, May 28, 2010
Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459
An 8-month old case is cracked, thanks to DNA.
Officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
(FWC) charged a Broward County man with the illegal killing of an
American alligator, a felony.
Mark M. Montgomery (DOB 07/22/87) of Pompano Beach
was arrested on a warrant Thursday and booked into the Broward
Work on the case began in October of 2009, when the
FWC received a complaint from a man who claimed he had witnessed
the alligator being poached at a boat ramp at the west end of Lox
Road in Water Conservation Area 2 in Broward County. The
complainant said he watched Montgomery use marshmallows to bait the
alligator and then fire several rounds from a .22-caliber rifle
into the alligator's head and put the carcass into the bed of his
truck. The man noted the vehicle's tag information.
At the boat ramp, officers took samples from
several blood pools and recovered several spent .22 rounds. They
went to Montgomery's home, where they found the truck parked in the
driveway. Officers questioned Montgomery, and he denied any
involvement. Officers also took samples of blood from the bed of
At the FWC's forensic lab in Boca Raton, the
samples tested positive for alligator blood. A warrant for
Montgomery's arrest was issued earlier this month.
Alligators are protected under federal and state
laws. Alligators can be legally taken only by individuals with
proper licenses and permits.