A narcotics search of a convicted felon's condo off of McMurray Drive on Tuesday yielded more than just illegal drugs.
In addition to paraphernalia, 8 grams of marijuana and two guns, detectives discovered three American alligators at a townhome at 1117 Thorncrest Road.
Joseph Hays, 32, admitted to police that the alligators belonged to him. Police said Hays didn't have proper documentation or a permit to have the alligators. It is illegal to possess an alligator in Tennessee. Kris Mumford, spokeswoman for the Metro Nashville Police Department, said Hays had other reptiles and three dogs at the residence as well.
Hays was charged with three counts of possessing an exotic animal, one count of possessing drug paraphernalia, one count of possessing a controlled substance and one count of felon in possession of a firearm.
The alligators were handed over to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Walter Cook, a TWRA captive wildlife coordinator, said he couldn't comment on specifics of the pending case, but did confirm that two of the alligators were “quite small” and another one was about three feet long. Adult American alligators average about eight feet in length, according to the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park.
Cook said the TWRA takes in an average of 10 alligators a year in Tennessee and works with a network of zoos to find homes for them. Cook said the alligators found yesterday were in good health.
Hays was convicted of aggravated robbery in 2003.
He bonded out of jail this morning and is due in court on May 9.