Bill Handel

Bill Handel

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Felony For Flytraps

Photo: Brunswick County Jail

Did you know that Venus Flytraps, or as they are known by their official name, Dionaea muscipula, are endangered in the wild and that Venus Flytrap poaching is a serious problem across the U.S.?

And, in North Carolina, they're not messing around when it comes to them, it's on the North Carolina Protected Plant Species List. In 2014, poaching them went from a misdemeanor to a felony and stealing them can get you more than two years in prison.

Recently, investigators there spent a month trying to track down a Venus Flytrap poacher in what The Port City Daily said was the first 'large-scale case of Venus Flytrap stealing in years.'

Well, thanks to anonymous tips from the public and investigators combing hours of traffic and video footage, they finally got their man!

Archie Lee Williams, 41, was arrested getting into his car with: digging tools and......216 Venus Flytraps.

According to The News & Observer, Williams admitted to moving from area to area, digging up plants every week and had planned to sell them. John White, master officer with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said, "They were all fresh. They still had moist dirt around the roots. They had not wilted yet."

Williams is facing 73 charges of 'felony taking of a Venus Flytrap' and is in jail on a $750,000 bond.

As for the plants, wildlife officials are trying to replant them in the wild.

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