Hudson Valley Man Had Nearly 200 Venomous Snakes Inside Home
Officers found nearly 200 venomous snakes inside a Hudson Valley man's home after he was bitten by one.
On Feb. 20, a Newburgh man pleaded guilty to misdemeanor commercialization charges and agreed to pay a $500 fine related to the possession of more than 150 venomous snakes seized from his home, the DEC announced on Wednesday.
On Jun. 2, 2019, St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital contacted the DEC after a man was bitten by a venomous snake. The Newburgh man was bitten by a Taiwanese Pit Viper (Ovophis Makazayazaya) at his home where he was attempting to breed the snakes, officials say. He was bitten on his left hand and took himself to the hospital for treatment where he received several doses of antivenom.
He was transferred from St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital to Jacobi Medical in the Bronx. At Jacoby Medical, he told officers he gets the snakes from importers, breeds them and then trades the baby snakes for new snakes and confirmed he had approximately 50 Pit Vipers and two Coral Snakes at his Newburgh home, according to the DEC.
On Jun. 3, 2019, Bureau of Environmental Crimes Investigations Investigator Jeff Conway obtained a search warrant for to search the man's home. The warrant was executed the following day with support from staff from the Bronx Zoo, who assisted with handling, transporting, and housing the snakes.
In total, investigators seized 157 live venomous snakes and 31 dead venomous snakes, representing 29 distinct species. Several years of breeding records were also seized.
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