MYRTLE BEACH, SC ( Associated Press) — “Tiger King” star Lord “Doc” Antle was arrested by the FBI and expected to appear in court Monday to face federal money laundering charges, a person familiar with the matter said. person told the Associated Press.
Federal agents arrested the controversial wild animal trainer on Friday and he spent the entire weekend at J.J. in Conway, South Carolina. Reuben remained in custody at the Long Detention Center.
Antle, the owner of Myrtle Beach Safari in South Carolina, is featured prominently in “Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness,” a 2020 Netflix documentary miniseries focusing on tiger breeders and private zoo operators in the US. Oklahoma zoo operator Joe Exotic, who was also targeted for animal abuse and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to kill a rival, Carole Baskin.
Charges against Antle, 62, were expected to be formally announced during a court proceeding Monday afternoon in Florence, South Carolina. The charges relate to allegations of money laundering, a person familiar with the matter told the Associated Press on Saturday. The man could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
Animal rights advocates have accused Antle of mistreating lions and other wildlife. He was indicted in Virginia in 2020 on charges of animal cruelty and wildlife trafficking.
In May, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals asked the IRS to investigate the Antles Rare Species Fund, a nonprofit raising funds for wildlife conservation. PETA alleges it uses some of the fund’s money to subsidize its safari site in Sokasti outside Myrtle Beach.
“It’s fitting that “Doc” Antle is behind bars after years of fending off the endangered animals he uses in tawdry photo ops. Debbie Metzler, associate director of PETA’s Captive Animal Law Enforcement, said PETA recently recently blew the whistle over his apparent ‘charity’ scandal, and his reign of terrorizing tiger cubs may not come to an end soon.” Division, in a statement.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, Antle is facing two felony counts of conspiracy to commit wildlife smuggling and wildlife smuggling charges, as well as 13 misdemeanors of conspiracy to violate the Endangered Species Act and animal cruelty charges involving the smuggling of lion cubs. is facing. Those charges are to be heard next month.
Antle has a history of recorded violations, dating back to 1989, when he was fined by the US Department of Agriculture for releasing deer and peacocks at his zoo in Virginia. Over the years, he has had more than 35 USDA violations for abusing animals.
Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Washington contributed to this report.