Sick alligator found guarding pot stash
CASTRO VALLEY, Calif., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Authorities in California said they discovered a "very sick" 5-foot alligator protecting 34 pounds of marijuana at a man's home.
The Alameda County Sheriff's Office said deputies were conducting a "probation compliance" check at the Castro Valley home of Assif Mayr, 32, about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and they discovered he was keeping 34 pounds of processed, dried marijuana in his bedroom, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.
Investigators said the stash was being guarded by a 5-foot-long alligator.
"We come across guard dogs like pit bulls quite frequently, but a guard alligator is very, very unusual," Sgt. J.D. Nelson said.
Mayr told deputies he obtained the reptile in 1996 "to commemorate the death of rapper Tupac Shakur," Nelson said.
The alligator, dubbed, Mr. Teeth, was taken to the Oakland Zoo, where spokeswoman Nicky Mora said the animal is "very sick."
"So we will probably treat him and keep him in a quarantine area and then figure out from there where he will be located," Mora said.
Mayr was arrested on a charge of possessing marijuana for sale and held in lieu of $160,000 bail.
Tattoo reveals suspect's deception
DELAND, Fla., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Police in Florida said a woman who gave a false name following a courthouse parking lot crash was identified thanks to a tattoo of her birth date.
DeLand police said Daysha Moore, 27, gave her sister's information to officers after crashing into a car in the Volusia County Courthouse at 8:58 a.m. Tuesday, but an officer looked up the sister's information on his computer and discovered Moore did not match the photo in the system, The Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal reported Thursday.
Moore noticed an officer making note of her tattoo, reading "01-14-1985," and admitted to giving the incorrect name and birth date to the officer. She gave her real name and birthday, which matched the tattoo.
Police discovered Moore's license was suspended and the suspect admitted to lying about her identity to conceal that fact.
Moore was charged with giving a false name to a law enforcement officer and received citations for unsafe backing and driving with a suspended license.
Couple fight to keep front yard garden
ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A Florida couple ordered to pull out their front yard vegetable garden have vowed to fight back against officials.
Jason and Jennifer Helvenston said they replaced their front lawn with a vegetable garden about a year ago to save on groceries and they have now received orders from Orlando City Hall to remove the garden and replace it with approved ground covers, meaning grass and shrubberies, in accordance with city codes, the Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday.
The couple, who have been threatened with fines of $500 per day, said they plan to "pack the house" with supporters when a proposal goes before the Municipal Planning Board next week that would allow residents to use half of their front yards for gardening.
"They'll take our house before they take our garden," Jason said.
The Helvenstons said they are hoping to convince officials to alter the proposal to allow them to use the whole yard for their garden, or else they could still face fines for going over the allowed garden size.
"They need to treat our vegetables fairly," Jason said. "We are fighting to the end."
Law school dropout tries to sell his name
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 10 (UPI) -- A North Carolina law school dropout facing $100,000 in student loans is auctioning off his name but isn't having much luck.
Jason Madsen attended the first year of classes at Charlotte Law School before deciding it wasn't a good fit. Between that and his other expenses, Madsen said he owes $100,000 in student loans, The Huffington Post said.
"I don't want to be an indentured servant to the Department of Education for the rest of my life," he said.
To help ease the burden, he's put his name up for auction on eBay. He initially asked a minimum of $75,000, but that's been reduced to $35,000.
He said any business or group could change his name to whatever they want, provided it wasn't offensive.
As of 4 p.m. Thursday, about 13 hours before the auction was set to close, there were still no bidders.