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Phoenix man facing felony charge after trying to sell tiger cub

The 25-year-old suspect was booked into the Maricopa County jail and the tiger was turned over to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

PHOENIX — A 25-year-old man was arrested Monday by Phoenix police for allegedly advertising the sale of a tiger cub on social media. He's now facing a felony charge.

Carlos Alcaraz was taken into custody after investigators executed a search warrant and rescued a baby tiger that had been advertised online for $25,000, police said. 

Several other animals were located at the residence, including baby snapping turtles and a baby American Alligator.

Alcaraz allegedly told police he purchased the tiger for $8,000 from a man in Arizona, court records show.

A grand jury has indicted Alcaraz with one count of unlawful taking/handling/possession/sale of wildlife, the Maricopa County Attorney's office announced. That's a class six felony in Arizona, which could lead to jail time if sentenced.

The animals were turned over to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. Alcaraz was booked into the Maricopa County jail for possession of live wildlife.

>> VERSIÓN EN ESPAÑOL: Autoridades recuperan a un tigre cachorro y arrestan a sospechoso

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What is the Valley?

“The Valley” is what locals call the Phoenix Metropolitan Area. It is considered the largest metropolitan area in the Southwest. 

The Valley is made up of various major cities other than Phoenix, including:

  • Mesa
  • Chandler
  • Scottsdale
  • Tempe
  • Glendale
  • Surprise
  • Peoria
  • Gilbert
  • El Mirage
  • Avondale
  • Litchfield Park
  • Goodyear
  • Buckeye

Whether a city is in the “East Valley” or “West Valley” depends on where it is in relation to Phoenix.

The cities of the Valley have a combined population of 4,845,832 people, according to the 2020 United States Census. This makes it the 11th largest metropolitan area in the country right behind the Boston and Atlanta areas.

How big is Maricopa County?:

Maricopa County is the United States’ 4th largest county in terms of population with 4,485,414 people, according to the 2020 Census.

The county contains around 63% of Arizona’s population and is 9,224 square miles. That makes the county larger than seven U.S. states (Rhode Island, Delaware, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New Hampshire).

One of the largest park systems in the nation is also located in Maricopa County. The county has an estimated 120,000 acres of open space parks that includes hundreds of miles of trails, nature centers and campgrounds.

The county’s seat is located in Phoenix, which is also the state capital and the census-designated 5th most populous city in the United States.

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