By Marlena Baldacci
(CNN) — A Miami man is in a swampy situation after he was caught trying to trade a live alligator for beer at a Florida convenience store.
Fernando Caignet Aguilera, 64, was cited by officials December 10 after he trapped the 4-foot alligator at a nearby park and brought it to the Santa Ana Market, according to Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Jorge Pino. Aguilera then walked up to the counter asking for a 12-pack of beer in exchange for the alligator. The clerk called Miami police instead.
Pino told CNN that never in his 25-year career in law enforcement has he heard of a person capturing an alligator for the purpose of exchanging it for alcohol — or anything, for that matter. Saying Aguilera apparently needed to “quench his thirst buds,” Pino called the incident an “extremely unusual situation, and a sad situation for the alligator.”
The alligator was unharmed and returned to the wild by wildlife officials, Pino said.
Aguilera was not injured in the process of trapping and transporting the gator. He’s been charged by wildlife officials with taking possession and selling an alligator, which is a second-degree misdemeanor. He faces up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
Pino was unsure if Aguilera requested a specific brand of beer.
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