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Man's pet alligator brings charges

By Kristina Belcher The Frankfort State Journal

FRANKFORT - A man was ordered to pay a fine after officials found he was keeping a pet alligator inside his Frankfort home.

An officer responded to a domestic violence call on Bypass Plaza Drive just before 2 a.m. April 11, Frankfort Police Capt. Robert Warfel said.

No arrests were made, but while inside the home, the officer allegedly spotted an alligator. Warfel said a conservation officer was called and responded a few hours later.

"It was an aquarium-sized alligator, probably a foot long or so," said Mark Marraccini, spokesman for the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources.

"Alligators are on the list of inherently dangerous animals and are illegal to possess in Kentucky."

Francisco Dorian Rivas, 19, received a citation for the holding of live exotic wildlife.

According to the citation, Rivas told the conservation officers he'd had the alligator around two months.

He pleaded guilty in Franklin District Court last week and was ordered to pay $204 - a $50 fine and $154 court costs.

Marraccini said fish and wildlife officials have found around six alligators statewide in the past six to eight years.

"There are times when we have responded and found a 3½ or 4-foot alligator," he said, "but this one hadn't had a chance to get that big yet."

Alligators are not found here naturally - they reside in warmer climates.

"People bring them into the state illegally," Marraccini said. "That's how this one got here."

Rivas was ordered to forfeit the alligator. Marraccini said forfeited alligators are euthanized.

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