Wildlife Officer: Man sells illegal reptiles at flea market

Wildlife Officer: Man sells illegal reptiles at flea market

JACKSONVILLE, ONSLOW COUNTY - A Jacksonville man was jailed Sunday for allegedly selling alligators and other reptiles.

Officials with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission say that Danny Ray Hemby sold animals on the federal endangered species list.

"There's an awful lot of selling of reptiles and endangered and threatened species, and there's a large market for it internationally," said Sgt. Charles Smith with the WRC.

Hemby is also charged with possessing and selling pigmy rattlesnakes, copperhead snake and turtles. The rattlesnakes and alligators are protected and on the threatened species list in North Carolina.

Smith said Hemby sold these reptiles at a flea market in Jacksonville. He says taking these animals, especially alligators, out of the wild isn't only a danger to us.

"When you're moving alligators from one location to another, especially from one state to another, you can be moving disease," Smith said.

Hemby was jailed under a $4,500 bond and is expected in court Oct. 22; he is also facing larceny charges in New Hanover County and is a convicted felon for prior drug violations.

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