3 arrested in Pike Creek, dangerous lizards seized

PIKE CREEK, DELAWARE (3/24/2015) Three people have been arrested at the Heritage Court Apartments on drug and firearm charges and for possessing 17 dangerous reptiles, New Castle County police reported today. They also were charged with endangering the welfare of a child.

The reptiles seized included 16 monitor lizards and a Columbian red-tailed boa constrictor.

The arrests in the 5500 block of Heritage Court Drive happened about 8 a.m. Friday.

Officers from the Delaware Probation and Parole Absconder Team went to the home to locate someone wanted on multiple warrants, Officer First Class Tom Jackson of New Castle County police said.

County officers arrested 25-year-old Jennifer Chadwick, 32-year-old Antonio Graves and 28-year-old Jerimiah Feaster, all living in the apartment complex off Milltown Road near Kirkwood Highway.

When officers entered, Jackson said, one of the three occupants attempted to destroy a large amount of suspected crack cocaine.

A 3-year-old child was found in the home, he said, and turned over to a family member.

Officers noticed several homemade cages containing the monitor lizards.

“Due to the excessive amount of exotic animals and the deplorable condition of the residence, several agencies were requested to assist in the investigation,” Jackson said.  These included Kent County SPCA, Delaware Department of Natural Resources, Brandywine Zoo, New Castle County Code Enforcement and the state Division of Family Services.

Jackson said the lizards were Savannah monitors, water monitors, and black-throated monitors.

“Several  were up to 6 feet in length and were described by zoo staff as deadly and extremely dangerous, especially around children,” he said. “These lizards were not legal to own and are considered an exotic species.”

Officers located about 115 grams of suspected crack cocaine, over 99 grams of suspected marijuana, several controlled prescription medications and paraphernalia indicating the sales of these drugs, Jackson said. Also located during the search were two loaded handguns.

The apartment was condemned and deemed unfit for human habitat by New Castle County Code Enforcement.

The lizards were taken by the Kent County SPCA to a reptile rescue in New Jersey.

Chadwick was charged with possession of a controlled substance, three counts of drug dealing, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, possession of ammunition by a person prohibited, conspiracy in the second degree, maintaining a drug property, possession of marijuana, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia. She also had several warrants and her probation was violated, Jackson said. She was committed to Baylor Women’s Correctional Institution in lieu of $395,850 cash bail.

Graves was charged with possession of a controlled substance, drug dealing, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, conspiracy in the second degree, possession of marijuana, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of drug
paraphernalia. He was committed to Young Correctional Institution in lieu of $365,000 cash bail.

Feaster was charged with possession of a controlled substance, drug dealing, tampering with evidence, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, conspiracy in the second degree, possession of marijuana, endangering the welfare of a child and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was committed to the Young Correctional in lieu of $370,500 cash bail.