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Hundreds Of Snakes Found In Man's Garage
More than 800 snakes - worth $500,000 (£312,000) - have been found at the home of an animal control officer accused of running an illegal side business selling them.
The reptiles were discovered in Richard Parrinello's garage in Shirley, New York, according to officials.
The collection of 850 snakes allegedly included two 6ft-long Burmese pythons, which are banned in the state.
Roy Gross, of Suffolk County's Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said: "There is a reason why Burmese pythons are illegal."
He cited the deaths of two young boys in New Brunswick, Canada, who were killed by an African rock python while they slept last month.
Authorities said they spotted Parrinello's snakes during an inquiry lasting several weeks into whether he was working while on disability leave from his job.
Parrinello has worked on and off as an animal-control officer for the town of Brookhaven since 1988, town spokesman Jack Krieger said.
Investigators apparently caught him on camera claiming he had $500,000 (£312,000) worth of reptiles - including snakes, turtles and turtle eggs - stored in a garage he had converted into habitat space.
Parrinello, who is said to be co-operating with authorities, faces multiple charges of owning the pythons and violating town codes by running a business at his home without a permit.
He was issued with two violations by the state's Department of Environmental Conservation.
Mr Gross said the pythons were going to an animal sanctuary in Massachusetts. It was unclear what would happen to the other snakes.