SUFFOLK COUNTY, NY (News 12 Long Island/CNN) - Authorities raided an illegal snake-selling business run out of a man's home in upstate New York.
Animal control found some 850 snakes in the man's two-car garage.
A Brookhaven town animal control officer illegally sold hundreds of snakes and other reptiles from garages at his home, authorities said Thursday.
Town and Suffolk County officers who raided the home of Richard Parrinello found 850 snakes in a garage inside the house and in a detached two-car garage, officials said. Parrinello, 44, was cooperating with investigators, they said.
Among the creatures found were two 6-foot Burmese pythons, which are illegal in New York.
They are illegal in New York, Suffolk SPCA Chief Roy Gross said, for good reason.
"They're extremely dangerous," he said. "Burmese pythons kill by constricting. They can grow to up to 15-18 feet long. They're certainly easily capable of killing not only a child but an adult."
Brookhaven Deputy Town Attorney David Moran said Parrinello, an animal control officer for the town, was being investigated for workman's compensation fraud. Moran says surveillance showed that Parrinello had been running a business, out of his home, without the proper permits. It's called Snake Man's Exotics and, according to its website, it breeds snakes and sells them around the world.
Hundreds of snakes, spiders, and frozen mice, officials said, all still inside the garage.
"There was a freezer of approximately 500-1,000 various-sized frozen mice," Moran said. "I guess to feed the snakes that are on the premises. … Our investigation indicated over $500,000 in inventory- so it's pretty substantial."
Officials say only the pythons are being removed at this time - however - because they are the only things that appear to be illegal.
Amy Goldstein says she's lived across the street from Parinello, his wife and two children for the past eight years and said she is unconcerned about the snakes.
"No, they're good people," she said. "That's their business."
According to the owner's Linkedin profile, it all part of business he's been running for the past 12 years.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, as well as the state, the SPCA and the town are all now part of this investigation.
Officials say it appears Parrinello was caring for these reptiles. They were not harmed in any way.
They say he will face some misdemeanor charges for having the illegal Burmese pythons, as well as a number of town code violations.