The man found with 850 snakes in his garage on Long Island 10 days ago said through his lawyer that he plans to open an exotic pet store. The Brookhaven animal control officer, 44-year-old Richard Parrinello, is accused of running an illegal reptile-sales business out of two garages at his Shirley home. Parrinello was supposed to begin moving the 850 snakes to a temporary storage facility this weekend, until he secures a lease for the store, according to Newsday on Sept. 30.
Parrinello is still under investigation for fraud from collecting workers' compensation benefits, while running the illegal internet reptile-sales business from his home.
The animal control officer was caught with the snakes when town officials investigated whether he was working a second job while collecting disability payments for carpel tunnel syndrome. Read more about the raid here.
Parrinello's attorney Andrew Vecere said relocating or selling the 850 snakes is expected to take several weeks. Parrinello was expected to sell some of the snakes at a snake expo held this past weekend.
Vecere said he told his client, "Sell as much as you can". About 500 of the 850 snakes are expected to be removed from the garage by this Friday.
Vecere told reporters that Parrinello had operated the business for about 12 years. He described Parrinello as a nice guy who just happens to like snakes. "He's not a monster with 800 snakes", he said.
Two illegal 6-foot burmese pythons were also removed in the raid. Parrinello May not be a monster, but would you want him for your neighbor?