Hal Kreitman, the subject of a New Times story just a few weeks back, was arrested this week in a sting conducted by Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers. The KeysNet.com reports that Kreitman is facing a felony conservation charge, and currently has a $2,500 bond.
Reading between the lines of the KeysNet story and comments from officials, it seems Kreitman was targeted after word of his alligator swims began to spread. From the KeysNet piece:
"What really concerns us is that he was charging money to have people come out and actually participate in this illegal activity," FWC Officer Jorge Pino, an agency spokesman, said Thursday.
"He is a very lucky man that he is not scarred or seriously injured as a result of his activities," Pino said. "What he did was completely against the law."
FWC agents began tracking Kreitman's social media presence. Then two undercover officers contacted Kreitman this week; he was then "arrested Wednesday by state wildlife officers during a swim-with-alligators excursion in mainland Monroe County," according to KeysNet.
The felony charge is just another problem Kreitman's got on his plate. Earlier this month, he was sentence to eight years in federal prison for his part in a fraudulent chiropractor business -- charges he still denies and way planning to appeal while working with alligators on the side. As he told us in the original story, swimming with alligators gave him a new purpose in life after his legal problems crashed down on him.
Kreitman didn't respond to text messages Friday afternoon.
Ironically, it seems like the folks over at CBS Miami are big New Times readers. They've got a piece featuring Kreitman . . . looks like it's airing tonight. Not great timing.
Update: On Saturday New Times spoke with Kreitman, who told us he was arrested by FWC while filming the CBS spot. In the end, he was taken in on a charge for intent to kill, capture, posses or collect eggs, and harassment. He's got a November 18 court date. We'll keep you updated with more.