New Mexico Police Make Major Drug Bust, Discover Pet Alligator While Searching for Tiger

by Taylor Cunningham

Albuquerque, N.M. police responded to a call last month that alleged a man was illegally keeping a tiger in his home. When they entered, they instead found a pet alligator, hoards of cash, pounds of drugs, and over a dozen guns.

Officers arrested the owner, 26-year-old Carlos Giddings, on Aug. 29 after the tip led to a large bust at his home near Old Town on August 12. Giddings is facing a felony charge for dealing drugs. He was released from jail on Sept. 9, according to MDC records.

Court documents show that the officers uncovered a “stash house.” Inside, Giddings was holding 2 pounds of heroin, over 10 pounds of cocaine, 50 pounds of marijuana, and an undisclosed about of fentanyl pills. He also had hidden away $41,000 dollars in cash and 14 guns. One weapon was an automatic rifle, which is reportedly rare.

Giddings reportedly told police that he was storing the drugs for a man named “Gordo.”

After canvassing the property, police seized the drugs and weapons and sent the alligator to live at the BioPark zoo.

“It looks like a three to four-year-old alligator, maybe three feet long? So he’s not very big,” Zoo Manager Lynn Tupa told KOB4 on Aug. 23. “It’s hard to tell what his care was like.”

“Well, we work together with Game and Fish to find a home for the animal,” she continued. “Typically, we do have to hold whatever more that they confiscate for at least 30 days. You know it, where there’s a will, there’s a way, people are gonna get a hold of the animals.”

Meanwhile, officials are continuing to search for the tiger.

After Finding Pet Alligator, Officials Continue to Seach For the Missing Tiger

The New Mexico Department of Game and Fish has no leads on where the illegally owned tiger may be, but it is sure that the animal is being held captive.

While the APD has already pressed drug charges on Carlos Giddings, it is waiting on more information from NMDGF before deciding how to move forward with charges pertaining to the two wild and dangerous animals.

“As it stands now, we do have state charges and will pursue federal charges if applicable,” said Albuquerque Police Department spokesman Gilbert Gallegos. “And at the same time, I think Game and Fish is continuing to look for the tiger, to see what may have happened to that.”

State prosecutors had originally asked a district court judge to detain Giddings before his trial. However, the judge denied the request. Under the conditions of his release, Giddings must stay away from alcohol, drugs, and guns, and not communicate with known KTP gang members.