Brunswick County man accused of stealing more than 200 Venus flytraps

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, N.C. -- A Brunswick County man has been arrested after officials said he stole more than 200 Venus flytraps.

According to ABC11 newsgathering partners at the The News & Observer, 41-year-old Archie Lee Williams Jr. planned on selling the carnivorous plants.

The plant is considered a "vulnerable" species and is listed on the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' protected plant list.

John White with N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission told WWAY that the organization started receiving tips in February.

The plant is native to a 70-mile radius near Wilmington.

White said one of those tips is what led to Williams' arrest.

Officials said when they arrived at the Pinch Gut game lands (between U.S. 17 and N.C. 211), Williams was in his vehicle about to leave when they stopped him and found him in possession of 216 plants.

He is facing more than 70 counts of taking a Venus flytrap. He was booked into the Brunswick County Detention Center under a $750,000 bond.

The charge for taking a Venus flytrap was upgraded to a felony on Dec. 1, 2014.