Local News

850 SNAKES found in Brookhaven animal control officer’s home

SHIRLEY, New York (PIX11) - Undercover officers got a surprise during a worker’s compensation investigation when they discovered 850 snakes inside a Shirley man’s house.

The reptiles, including two Burmese Pythons, were stored in a detached garage of the Auborn Ave. house, along with multiple turtles and turtle eggs — all valued at roughly $500,000.

The illegal snake business belongs to Richard Parrinello, a Brookhaven animal control officer, according to authorities, who revealed Thursday he is running an online business called “Snakeman’s Exotics.”

The website features pythons, boa constrictors and Hognose snakes for sale domestically and internationally.

Snakes

(Photo/Newsday)

“I’m shocked, and dismayed that in a residential community like Shirley, this individual would put his neighbors at risk by selling reptiles and snakes as large as six-feet in length out of his home,” said Councilwoman Constance Kepert.  “I want to thank our Town Investigators, as well as other law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation, who discovered and put an end to this illegal, and potentially dangerous operation.”

“This is the latest in a series of actions to clean up this Town.  These alleged actions not only hurt our taxpayers, but also potentially endanger our residents,” said Councilman Dan Panico.  “We will continue to vigorously pursue those who would defraud the taxpayers and threaten the quality of life in our communities.”

Parrinello was issued two violations for the illegal reptile ring; charges are pending.

VIEW & ADD COMMENTS

3 Comments to “850 SNAKES found in Brookhaven animal control officer’s home”

    Leo said:
    September 22, 2013 at 2:37 AM

    You folks think six feet in length is large for a snake? Sheesh. I had a Brazilian Rainbow Boa as a pet. He was large for his breed – a gorgeous six feet in length. He was friendly and sociable. He loved to be held. Docile. I had to give him up when I got married and my in-laws freaked out.

    Now, as far as this guy breeding and selling illegal breeds of snakes, and having 850 snakes in his garage… that's another problem altogether. But a 6-foot snake? You guys are overreacting.

    Gretchen Reinhardt said:
    September 22, 2013 at 3:52 AM

    Reporter incorrectly stated that Burmese Pythons are illegal in the united States. Burmese Pythons are in fact one of the most commonly kept big pet snake breeds, easily getting over 15 to 22 feet. So maybe what the reporter meant was that Burmese Pythons are illegal in New York?

    Jonson said:
    January 15, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    I want to thank our Town Investigators, as well as other law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation, who discovered and put an end to this illegal, and potentially dangerous operation

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