Just after 4 p.m., Montgomery County Precinct 4 Deputy Constables acting on a tip went to a home on Morton Road near Morgan Drive in Splendora. When they arrived at the home, they found it had high weeds around it and propane bottles covering the porch. They arrested Michael Terry in the house closer to the road. He had several pouches of marijuana in his hands. They then went to a house at the back of the property to search for additional drugs. As they opened the back door, they were met with a hiss from a 6-foot alligator, which they learned normally slept on the couch. They also found several snakes, both poisonous and nonpoisonous.
Texas Parks and Wildlife was notified and in turn notified Hal Newsome, a wild game trapper and certified by Texas Parks and Wildlife to handle alligators.
As Newsome arrived at the home, he met the alligator at the back door. After letting the gator calm down, he was able to get a rope around it and get it into the backyard as Constable Hayden kept the line taut. After getting the tail under control, Newsome moved up and gripped the gator’s jaws, then several deputies were able to get onto it and hold it down. Tape was placed around the gator’s mouth and it was taken to a waiting trailer.
Newsome, who has an exotic game ranch in New Caney, took the gator to a swamp area at the back of his property. There, he removed the tape from the gator’s mouth and turned it loose. At first it turned on Newsome and jumped off the ground, snapping at him. It then moved on to the water. After not moving for several minutes,, it submerged and slowly moved away until surfacing again.
Newsome said it appeared the gator, which weighed approximately 100 pounds, had never been in water before.
He said it is getting more common for drug dealers to use alligators like guard dogs to protect their property.
Constable Hayden commented on how dangerous the situation could have been if fire or EMS had responded to an emergency at the home and surprised by the gator.
Terry is charged with Possession of Marijuana. Charges are pending regarding his use of the alligator as a security system.
Back in January, law enforcement officials in Northern California found a drug house guarded by an alligator.