Doc Antle is asking a judge to deny a United States government request to modify his bond to prevent him from selling Myrtle Beach Safari to his romantic partner, China York.
Antle, 62, was arrested in June for money laundering and wildlife trafficking. Andrew Jon Sawyer, 52, is also accused of money laundering with Antle. Antle's romantic partner Moksha Bybee, 51, who lives at the safari; Charles Sammut, 61, of Monterey Vision Quest in Salinas, California; and Jason Clay, 42, of East Texas Zoo and Gator Park in Grand Saline, Texas, and Franklin Drive Thru Safari in Franklin, Texas, are accused of trafficking endangered animals with Antle.
Court documents filed last week indicate the government was notified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that Antle was attempting to sell Myrtle Beach Safari to Sugriva Co LLC, which was created by York on June 10, 2022, while Antle was incarcerated. York has applied for an Animal Welfare Act license for Myrtle Beach Safari.
Documents indicate the sale would transfer ownership of seizable property and would transfer ownership and control of the animals at issue in the lawsuit. The government is asking a judge to modify Antle’s bond conditions to prevent the sale of Myrtle Beach Safari and prevent the transfer of any animal listed under the Endangered Species Act.
Antle fired back at the government in court documents filed yesterday, stating that the government is engaged in a campaign to crush Antle “who has never been convicted of any crime, and to destroy his business, the Myrtle Beach Safari, which he has lawfully operated for almost 30 years in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.”
Antle accused the government of conspiring with the USDA, who he said refuses to complete a licensing inspection at his roadside zoo.
“Meanwhile, PETA … and other so called animals rights groups are rejoicing at the USDA’s efforts to destroy a South Carolina business that has lawfully operated for decades,” documents say. “These groups want to shutdown the MBS, no matter who owns and operates it, regardless of whether its operation is consistent with federal and state law. Now, it appears the USDA has become a willing and enthusiastic partner in this quest.”
Antle is asking a judge to deny the request to modify his bond restrictions so that he can “engage in lawful business activities just as any other person who stands innocent would be allowed to do.”
Antle and Sawyer are accused of laundering more than $500,000 cash that they believed to be the proceeds of an operation to smuggle illegal immigrants across the border.
Download court documents: