On Monday, Michael Volpe, 32, and Alisa Volpe, 25, were arrested in their apartment in Brooklyn’s Gravesend neighborhood by the NYPD when the cops gained entry with a search warrant. No big deal, because this is the NYPD, and that’s what they do.
But when cops searched the apartment, they found an awesome assortment of illegal collectibles that we
wish we had needed to see for ourselves, so police sent pictures and descriptions of what they found.
Authorities found two loaded handguns (an old-school revolver and a newer, sleeker pistol), a loaded shotgun, well more than 100 bullets, some shells, seven different types of pills, and a bag of marijuana. Then they found the alligator.
The couple had somehow obtained the baby gator and was caring for it in the apartment. The photos show the reptile’s mouth taped, though when asked, authorities couldn’t comment on whether the Volpes taped its mouth closed or police did it afterward for safety. In addition to the guns, police also found a set of brass knuckles, so we can assume that if the alligator had somehow gotten out of hand, the Volpes had it under control.
The suspects were charged with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance, and harboring a prohibitive animal. It’s still early in the investigation, but possibilities abound as to how drugs, guns, and apex predators got in the same place. Maybe the Volpes were animal fanatics who used the drugs and weapons to keep the beast in line or to fight off poachers. Maybe they’re drug dealers who thought pit bulls and electronic safes were too mainstream.
The Volpes are now in custody, and the NYPD told the Voice that the alligator was turned over to the ASPCA. Too many cats, maybe.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 3, 2012