Fake photo of alligator found in marijuana raid published by Metro Times

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Detroit weekly newspaper, The Metro Times, published the above photo of a small alligator as having been found during marijuana raids. However, the newspaper has since removed the photo from the story and blogged to announce that the photo is fake. (Credit: Metro Times)

In an unusual fake photo twist, the news outlet which published a fake photo proactively fessed up to the fauxtography it unwittingly published before any scandal emerged.

Curt Guyette, Metro Times blogger, wrote Sept 22 admitting that the site published a fake photo the week prior. The photo was of “an alligator purported to be a reptile named Daisy seized during raids on allegedly illegal marijuana growing operations in Oakland County,” Guyette explained.

The photo came to the weekly alternative Detroit newspaper as part of a “digital press kit handed out by Rick Thompson, who works for the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine,” and that Thompson said the picture came from William Teichman.

Teichman and his wife, Candace, own Everybody’s Café, “one of the ‘compassion clubs’ raided in late August.”  The couple “face charges related to the manufacture and sale of marijuana.”  The Free Press reported that the Teichmans were charged.

According to Guyette, Teichman got the photo “anonymously via cell phone,” but “he has no reason to doubt its authenticity.”

Despite Teichman’s confidence in the photo, Guyette reported that the Oakland County Sheriff’s Maj. Robert Smith claims that “the photo is definitely not of any alligator involved in raids conducted by Oakland officers”

While there was “an alligator seized” during another raid in a neighboring county, Smith is reported to have said the police officers in the photo aren’t the same as the ones who were at the raid.

The Daily Tribune reported that 15 people were arrested as a result of the medical marijuana raids.

C and G News reported that Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard did say one raid found a man with”live alligators protecting his marijuana plants.”

The Metro Times had reported Sept 15 about the raids and Daisy, the alleged pot protecting alligator. The story now features an update explaining that the photo of Daisy, which came from an anonymous source, has been removed since the sheriff’s office said it “had nothing to do with recent raids.”

(For movie lovers, there was a 1956 comedy movie titled An Alligator Named Daisy.”)

iMediaEthics has written to Curt Guyette of the Metro Times and Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine for more information and will update with any response. Guyette responded confirming that the photo’s source is still anonymous.

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Fake photo of alligator found in marijuana raid published by Metro Times

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