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Police: Exotic reptile rescued, man with magic mushrooms and other drugs arrested in Rusk County

Jason Best, 44, of Kilgore, has been charged with a total of four controlled substance felony offenses.

KILGORE, Texas — Rusk County deputies and game wardens rescued an exotic reptile from a Kilgore home and arrested a man after police say they found magic mushrooms, firearms, cash and other suspected drugs.

Through a follow-up to a Crime Stoppers tip alleging controlled substance distribution and the illegal possession of a suspected alligator, the deputies and game wardens on Friday searched a property in the 500 block of Leach Street in Kilgore.

During the search, law enforcement found approximately a quarter pound of psilocybin (magic mushrooms), suspected THC infused edibles, 76 THC vape cartridges (Delta 9), firearms, cash, a white powder substance that field tested positive for PCP (angel dust) and a pound of marijuana. 

Credit: Rusk County Sheriff's Office

According to the sheriff's office, the 3-foot-long reptile, which is believed to be a Caiman, was found inside the home. Rusk County officials and the city of Kilgore Animal Control officials have made arrangements to have the Caiman moved to Nature’s Edge, a wildlife rescue located in Dallas. 

Caimans live in Mexico, Central and South America from marshes and swamps to mangrove rivers and lakes. They are most similar to alligators, but they have longer and sharper teeth and are more agile than alligators. 

Jason Best, 44, of Kilgore, has been charged with a total of four controlled substance felony offenses. His bond totals $118,500.

The Kilgore Police Department Criminal Investigation Division also assisted in performing the search warrant. 

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