DETROIT (AP) – Two Detroit-area men have been charged in Florida with illegally acquiring exotic fish and alligators, even stopping their vehicle to capture gators in a national preserve.

The indictment says the scheme lasted at least three years.

Richard Perrin and Joseph Franko are charged with conspiracy and illegal sales. The government says Perrin owns Tropicorium, a Romulus business that sells reptiles and exotic fish. Franko works for him.

The indictment recently handed up in Miami says Perrin and Franko had no permits to acquire and transport marine life back to Michigan. The species include sharks, sea fans, starfish and at least 10 baby alligators.

Perrin and Franko couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday. A woman answering the phone at Tropicorium hung up when The Associated Press called.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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