Florida: Owner of stuffed wild cat faces additional charges

Posted: Mar 26, 2010 12:42 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 26, 2010 12:42 PM EDT

CHARLOTTE COUNTY: The Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office has filed additional charges against the man arrested Tuesday and charged with dealing in stolen property. The most unusual item deputies seized during the search was a stuffed wild cat.

Deputies searched the home of James Earl Lewis, 48, and seized journals, ledgers, notes, electronic storage devices, ATV parts, frames, tools, firearms and a stolen generator.

The stuffed wild cat will be turned over to Florida Fish and Wildlife next week for DNA testing to determine whether it is a cougar or an endangered Florida panther.

While searching Lewis’ home, deputies also found 26 grams of meth hidden in his bedroom VCR and in a security safe.

Detectives also found several glass pipes, a spoon and syringe with meth residue, reports said.

Lewis was also charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a firearm by a convicted Florida felon.

Additional charges are expected, deputies said.

If you have information about this case or illegal drug activity, contact the CCSO at 941-639-2101, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).


Learn more about big cats and Big Cat Rescue at https://bigcatrescue.org

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