‘Tiger King’ Star Doc Antle Hit With Major Indictment in South Carolina

by Shelby Scott

Since Tiger King dropped on Netflix in March 2020, amid the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic, drama has ensued both on and off of the show. Within the framework of the reality TV series, camera crews documented the strange, interconnected community of big cat owners across the United States. Cast members included the infamous Carole Baskin and costar Joe Exotic. Then in the fall of last year, after claiming Tiger King had created false perceptions about her, Carole Baskin attempted to sue the streaming platform. She filed the suit after footage filmed in the original series featured in Tiger King 2. Now, months after the drama faded, Tiger King star Doc Antle has received a major indictment following his arrest in South Carolina.

Earlier this month, Doc Antle faced arrest for charges of money laundering. A more recent report states Antle’s laundering charges amount to as much as half a million dollars. On Wednesday, a judge posted a $250,000 bond.

Now, Avery G. Wilks, an investigative journalist for SC’s The Post and Courier, states Doc Antle has been indicted on money laundering. He faces additional charges from a federal grand jury. See Wilks’ full statement below.

In addition to money laundering, the court also found the Tiger King star responsible for wildlife trafficking, including the sale of lemurs, cheetahs, and a chimpanzee. After posting the bond, the judge’s sentence carries a prison term of 20 years if convicted.

Additionally, the journalist reported Doc Antle’s money laundering supposedly supported an illegal operation to smuggle Mexican immigrants across the U.S. border. Wilks revealed the newest information came from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of SC.

‘Tiger King’ Star Has a Criminal History

Long before Doc Antle faced accusations of money laundering, he had already earned a reputation for illegal dealings. Previously, authorities found evidence that the Tiger King star had trafficked lion cubs between South Carolina and Virginia. However, that’s just the beginning.

Doc Mantle’s had many run-ins with the law, with charges going as far back as 1989. At the time, as per the New York Post, Mantle received a fine from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for abandoning deer and peacocks at his Virginia zoo.

Since then, the outlet states he has earned more than 35 USDA violations for mistreating animals.

Additionally, animal rights activists have accused the 62-year-old of mistreating lions and other wildlife amounting to animal cruelty. Other legal run-ins include an astonishing 13 misdemeanor counts of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act.

In response to the charges, Antle stated, “I am terribly shocked and disappointed at the charges that have been filed against me by the Commonwealth of Virginia, and how they have sought to involve my daughters in this matter.