850 Snakes Found In Home Of Animal Control Officer: Richard Parrinello Ran Illegal Snake Business In New York [VIDEO]

By Danny Choy on September 20, 2013 4:28 PM EDT

850 snakes found
850 snakes were found inside a suburban New York home, including two Burmese pythons. (Photo: Creative Commons)

850 snakes were found inside the New York home of Richard Parrinello, an animal control officer on disability. Two 6-foot Burmese pythons, which are illegal in the state of New York, were among the 850 snakes found. According to authorities, Parrinello was running an illegal snake business in his suburban home in Brookhaven, where he lives with his wife and his son, who is 10 years old.

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According to reports, the town of Brookhaven, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Suffolk County Police, and the SPCA executed a search warrant on Richard Parrinello's home for alleged workers compensation fraud as he is received disability benefits while operating a profitable business. Not only did investigators uncover 850 snakes found at his home, but Parrinello's approximate animal inventory worth $500,000 also included turtle and turtle eggs. A few tarantulas and a couple of freezers with frozen mice and alligator carcasses were also uncovered.

According to Suffolk County SPCA chief Roy Gross, Richard Parrinello's 850 snakes were found inside his detached garage. The garage featured climate control that was carefully controlled to keep the snakes. The snakes were neatly stacked in containers.

"It was a well-maintained facility, it was very clean and organized, it was a business," said Jack Krieger, communications director for the Town of Brookhaven on Long Island. The snakes all appeared in good health, showing no signs of abuse or neglect. According to Krieger, the pythons have been removed from Parrinello's house and have been taken to a reptile sanctuary in Massachusetts. The rest of the snakes remain in the garage.

Parrinello owns a website called "Snakeman's Exotics," which advertised a collection of pythons, boa constrictors, and hognose snakes. Sales were available for domestic and international customers. Now, Richard Parrinello faces charges for owning pythons and violating town codes by running a business at his home and without a permit. Parrinello was not arrested or charged with any criminal activity. Parrinello is fined with two summonses for possessing wild animals without a permit and for possessing alligator parts without a permit, each one carrying a maximum fine of $250.

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