Change of plea hearing scheduled in Myrtle Beach Safari owner’s federal case

Published: Nov. 1, 2023 at 12:05 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 1, 2023 at 12:29 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – The Myrtle Beach Safari owner who gained fame from the Netflix series, Tiger King, may change his plea in his federal case.

A federal court docket shows a “change of plea hearing” has been set at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Nov. 6 for Doc Antle at the federal courthouse in Charleston.

Authorities arrested Antle in June 2022 on money laundering charges.


He and his business associate, Andrew Sawyer, are accused of laundering over $500,000 in cash that they believed to be the proceeds of an operation to smuggle illegal immigrants across the Mexican border.

He was later charged in a federal wildlife trafficking case, where he’s accused of illegally trafficking animals such as lemurs, cheetahs and a chimpanzee.

Antle has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges against him.

In a separate case out of Virginia, Antle was found guilty of two counts of wildlife trafficking and two counts of conspiring to wildlife traffic.

A judge sentenced him in October to a two-year suspended sentence, five years of probation and a $10,000 fine. He is also banned for five years from working with, owning, buying, selling or trading exotic animals.

WMBF News will bring you updates on the hearing that’s set for Monday in federal court.