Reporting Anjali Hemphill
VACAVILLE (CBS13) – A routine traffic stop that turned into a search and seizure involving more than 900 marijuana plants, seven firearms, $29,000 in cash and a 3-foot-long baby alligator was anything but routine.
Lori and William Riley were arrested last month after police found 50 pounds of marijuana, valued at $250,000, and a handgun in the couple’s possession during a traffic stop in Modesto.
On Jan. 31, police proceeded to take Lori Riley, 34, and William Riley, 37, back to their home in Fairfield so that police could conduct a search of the home. When police went through the home, they found more than they were anticipating. In addition to finding seven firearms and more than $29,000 in cash, police found a 3-foot-long baby alligator in the Riley’s home. Police said that the alligator was turned over to animal services and is now in a sanctuary.
Police would go on to search another two homes in Vallejo as part of the investigation, reportedly finding more than 900 marijuana plants related to Lori and William Riley.
“I think that’s crazy,” neighbor Chester Honda said. “Why would they have an alligator protecting marijuana? This is a nice neighborhood. There’s retired people that live here, there’s working people that live here. That’s why I’m surprised to even hear there’s something going on around here, because there’s not usually, at all.”
The Rileys were charged with transportation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale, possessing a .50-caliber BMG rifle, possessing an assault weapon, and being armed with a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Lori and William Riley were arrested last month after police found 50 pounds of marijuana, valued at $250,000, and a handgun in the couple’s possession during a traffic stop.