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Fla. snake farm owners charged in Pa.

Nov. 14, 2012 at 12:04 AM   |   Comments

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14 (UPI) -- The owners of a Florida reptile farm were charged Tuesday with trafficking in endangered snakes illegally trapped in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Investigators said Robroy Macinnes and Robert Keszey, owners of the Glades Herp Farm in Bushnell, Fla., teamed up with a Philadelphia-area man who helped them collect two eastern timber rattlesnakes in the Lehigh Valley and king snakes in the New Jersey Pine Barrens in 2007, Phillyburbs.com reported. An alleged effort to collect more rattlesnakes the next year was unsuccessful.

Keszey has also appeared on a Discovery Channel show, "Swamp Brothers."

Macinnes and Keszey were charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy to violate the law barring interstate trafficking of illegally obtained wildlife. Their alleged confederate was identified only as a Sellersville, Pa., man.

Rattlesnake collecting requires a permit in Pennsylvania, while in New Jersey many snakes are classified as endangered or threatened.

The Pennsylvania man also allegedly agreed to breed two eastern indigo snakes obtained without a permit in New York State and to buy two adult and 15 juvenile rattlesnakes. In late 2008, investigators say, Macinnes told him to dispose of the indigo snakes because the men who collected them had been targeted for a search.

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