Today Ariel Michelle Marchan Le Quire, a woman found to have an alligator and other illegally obtained reptiles in her possession during a traffic stop, pled no contest to multiple charges in Charlotte County.
In May 2019 the defendant was a passenger in a truck that was pulled over for running a stop sign. The driver informed the deputies that he and the defendant had been trying to collect frogs and snakes from a nearby underpass.
When deputies from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office searched the vehicle they found 42 striped mud turtles and a softshell turtle in a “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” character backpack between the defendant’s feet. When the deputies asked if the defendant had anything else they needed to know about she pulled a live foot-long alligator out of her yoga pants. The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to assist in the investigation due to the animals involved.
The defendant pled to one count of Taking or Possessing an American Alligator, one count of Taking or Possessing More Than One Turtle Per Day, one count of Transporting More Than One Turtle or Turtle Eggs and one count of Taking or Possessing a Softshell Turtle. She was adjudicated guilty on all four counts and was sentenced to 6 months of probation on each count, to be served consecutive to each other. The defendant will also have to complete 200 community service hours and make a $500 donation to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Wildlife Alert Fund.
Marchan Le Quire also pled to one count of Failure to Appear and was sentenced to credit for the time she served in the Charlotte County Jail.
The driver’s case is still pending. Assistant State Attorney Sara Schmidt handled the case.
State Attorney’s Office