ATLANTIC CITY — Authorities recovered a strange and dangerous visitor early Tuesday at the pool of a resort motel.
A 3-foot-long alligator was found swimming in the pool at the Bayview Inn & Suites after an early morning drug bust by authorities.
Several people were arrested and drugs, weapons and other animals were recovered, Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said.
Detectives from the Prosecutor’s Office, along with local law enforcement, searched the 80 rooms of the Albany Avenue motel, Tyner said in a news release.
Authorities arrested Jamal Campos, 25, of Egg Harbor Township, who was charged with strict liability homicide for a drug-induced death, first-degree leader of a narcotics ring, possession with intent to distribute 100 wax folds of heroin and possession of heroin. An investigation into the April 22, 2016, overdose death of 42-year-old Adam O’Gara led authorities to Campos, the Prosecutor’s Office said.
Officials said cash, drugs and Airsoft guns were found during the search.
Thirty-three people, including men, women and children, were removed from the property during the search, and seven people were arrested on unrelated warrants.
Animal control officers pulled the reptile from the half-filled pool around 10 a.m. Officials said the alligator was transported to the Cape May County Zoo.
Authorities said it’s not clear where the alligator came from, how it got in the pool or how long it had been there. But they noted the motel is a short distance from the Lakes Bay nature preserve.
An animal control officer told The Press they had been summoned earlier to the same location to pick up multiple dogs. During Tuesday’s search, seven dogs were recovered and one pit bull dog was fatally shot by an Atlantic City police officer after the animal made an aggressive move toward officers entering a room, officials said.
Attempts to reach the property owner were unsuccessful. Every door of the motel, including the front office, had been kicked in and multiple windows were shattered.
Staff Writer Lauren Carroll contributed to this report.