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Federal wildlife trafficking sweep has Indiana connections

Updated: Oct. 24, 2017 at 2:17 PM EDT
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This monitor lizard was also confiscated. (Source: Dept. of Justice)
This monitor lizard was also confiscated. (Source: Dept. of Justice)

CHARLESTOWN, IN (WAVE) - An animal with Indiana ties is one of several connected to a wildlife trafficking sweep that federal authorities call Operation Jungle Book.

Dozens of exotic animals have been seized in southern California. So far 16 people have been charged, including Nick Bishop, 27, who goes by Nick the Wrangler.

The FBI says Bishop falsified documents used to purchase a tiger from Wildlife in Need in Charlestown, Indiana back in 2014.

The Tiger was found the next month in a backyard in Ventura, California, 300 pounds under weight.

Bishop told investigators he purchased the tiger for the rapper Tyga, whose real name is Michael Ray Stevenson. TMZ reported a tiger was removed from the rapper's home in April 2014.

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Tyga ended up dodging criminal charges and the tiger was taken to a local rescue group.

The owner of Wildlife in Need, Tim Stark, told us he has never sold a tiger, has never met Nick Bishop, and has not been contacted by the FBI as part of this investigation.

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