850 snakes worth big bucks were found in a detached garage in New York , authorities said Thursday. USA Today reports Sept. 20 that the 850 snakes were Burmese pythons and worth half a million dollars. The 6-foot snakes were at the home of Richard Parrinello, an animal control officer. The snakes are illegal in New York state.
"There is a reason why Burmese pythons are illegal," Chief Roy Gross said of the Suffolk County SPCA. He was referring to the two young boys killed in New Brunswick, Canada last month when a python escaped its enclosure and suffocated the children while they slept.
Gross said pythons are "an accident waiting to happen." Having 850 snakes in one place is will almost guarantee that.
Parrinello has reportedly worked on-and-off in Brookhaven since 1988 as an animal control officer.
The 850 snakes were discovered when authorities investigated Parrinello because he was working while on leave for disability from his job. It was learned that he had $500,000 in inventory that included the snakes, turtles, and turtle eggs he kept in a makeshift living space for them in his garage.
Parrinello will face charges that include "owning the pythons and violating town codes by running a business at his home without a permit."
The 850 snakes and others were transferred to an animal sanctuary in Massachusetts.