Man Arrested For Allegedly Selling Duct-Taped Iguanas From SUV

by : Emily Brown on : 07 Jul 2021 10:28
Man Arrested For Allegedly Selling Duck-Taped Iguanas From SUVPixabay/WSB-TV

Police have arrested a man in Georgia for allegedly trying to sell iguanas that had been bound with Duct tape from the back of his SUV in a car park.

Pet shop owner Dayniel Del Toro Mendez of Gwinnett County is said to have loaded nearly two dozen iguanas into his car before trying to sell them to passersby, putting the reptiles at risk of death in the process.


Mendez allegedly caught the iguanas in Miami, where iguanas are considered an invasive species. Earlier this year it became illegal to purchase or sell reptiles in Florida, though they can be caught and killed humanely.

Man Arrested For Allegedly Selling Duck-Taped Iguanas From SUV (WSB-TV)WSB-TV

Rather than humanely killing the animals, the pet shop owner reportedly transported the iguanas to Norcross in Georgia. Once there, he attempted to sell the creatures for $10 each.

Mendez was arrested and charged with 22 misdemeanour counts of animal cruelty after police received a report about his actions and he was discovered with the reptiles in his car.


Hildeshi Valle, with Gwinnett County Police, said the iguanas had been ‘tied up’ in the back of the SUV, explaining: ‘Their legs were tied with duct tape in a non-ventilated area, which could cause them to die.’

In spite of the poor conditions the animals were being held in, Mendez reportedly told police he did not think he was doing anything wrong, WSB-TV reports.

Hear more about the arrest below:



Valle added: ‘I guess it was his impression it wasn’t an illegal act.’

The 22 iguanas were taken in by Gwinnett Animal Control following Mendez’s arrest, and the authority has since confirmed that the animals have all either been adopted by families or sent to rescue groups.

Mendez has now been released from jail on bond.

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Animals, Florida, Georgia, miami


  1. WSB-TV

    Man arrested after police say he tried to sell duct-taped iguanas from SUV