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Man arrested with 13 reptiles in car

Oct. 13, 2011 at 11:58 AM

CANTON, Ga., Oct. 13 (UPI) -- Authorities in Georgia said they arrested a man who was found to have 10 snakes and three different lizard species in his car during a traffic stop.

Melissa Cummings, spokeswoman for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, said Cherokee County sheriff's deputies pulled over Nicholas Mesa of Indiana on Interstate 75 Monday and the motorist told deputies they could not search his car because he was carrying snakes and lizards, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Thursday.

"Mr. Mesa had 10 snakes and three different lizard species in the vehicle," Cummings said.

"The snakes were non-venomous," Cummings said. "Species included corn, coachwhip, pine, king and Southern hognose snakes -- all native to Georgia -- plus a rosy boa, a non-native snake. Mr. Mesa said he caught the snakes in Florida and was taking them to Indiana."

Deputies called in Georgia Department of Natural Resources investigators, who seized the snakes, and Mesa was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of illegal possession of non-game wildlife without a permit.

Mesa was released Wednesday after posting $5,000 bond.

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