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850 snakes found at animal control officer's house

850 snakes worth half a million dollars found at New York animal control officer's house.
By KRISTEN BUTLER, UPI.com   |   Sept. 20, 2013 at 4:27 PM   |   Comments

Sept. 20 (UPI) -- An animal control officer in New York had 850 snakes in his home, including two 6-foot Burmese pythons, which are illegal in the state.

Authorities discovered the snakes while investigating whether Richard Parrinello was working while on disability leave from his civic job.

Parrinello, who has worked intermittently as an animal control officer in Brookhaven, was caught on camera claiming he had $500,000 in "inventory" during the course of the fraud investigation.

His inventory included snakes, tarantulas, turtles and turtle eggs in a two-car garage he'd converted into habitat. Authorities also discovered three small frozen alligator carcasses.

"I personally have never seen this many reptiles in one area," said chief of the Suffolk Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Roy Gross.

The pythons will be moved to a sanctuary in Massachusetts, and its unclear what will happen to the remaining reptiles.

Parrinello was issued two violations by the state's Department of Environmental Conservation, which carry fines of $250 each. He also faces multiple charges of owning the pythons and running a business at his home without a permit.

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