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Exotic animals discovered during drug bust | Crime

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Exotic animals discovered during drug bust
Exotic animals discovered during drug bust

WOODSTOCK, Ga -- It wasn't your typical drug bust when narcotics officers went to a home in Woodstock last Friday. They found something more exotic than the drugs.

Living in a home on Creekbend Drive were dogs, cats, a squirrel, several snakes and two lizards. One of those lizards is illegal to own, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

A tip from a citizen led the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS) to the home because of drug activity, according to Commander Phil Price. "There was a lot of animal feces," he said. "It was not what I would think of as a healthy environment."

Price said one of the lizards was a dangerous Tegu from South America. "That thing can be dangerous," Price said. "If it were released here in Georgia they breed very rapidly and they take down what we would consider normal animal environment around here."

Price said it is also illegal to own a squirrel.


Investigators did find drugs, 13 pounds of marijuana, hashish, prescription drugs and cocaine. They also found several guns and $5,796 in cash.

Only three pounds of marijuana were found in the home. While investigators were serving the search warrant a package from California was delivered to the home by the US Post Office. When they opened it they found 10 pounds of marijuana.

Price said Marlena Darby, 19, who lived in the home, told investigators she thought the pot was legal because it came from California where medical marijuana is legal. "We're starting to see that a little more because as the decriminalization takes place on the west coast they feel like its fair game to ship," he said.

Darby was charged with Trafficking in Marijuana, Possession of Xanax and Possession of Hashish. Another suspect, Kurt Wisehart, 25, was charged with Possession of Cocaine and Possession of Hashish. A third suspect, Matt Quinn, has been charged with Trafficking in Marijuana, Possession of Xanax, Possession of Hashish and Possession of psilocybin mushrooms. Quinn is not in custody but has agreed to turn himself in.

The Georgia DNR said they are trying to find adequate permitted facilities to house the lizards and the squirrel, which is also illegal to own.

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