850 snakes found in raid of animal-control officer's home


Contributing Member
Resident Demon
Nov 28, 2010
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Elyria OH
Hundreds of snakes, including two 6-foot Burmese pythons, were found at the home of a New York animal control officer, who was running an illegal side business selling them, authorities said Thursday.

There were 850 snakes worth half a million dollars in a detached garage at the Long Island home of Richard Parrinello, including the Burmese pythons, which are illegal in New York state, officials said.

"There is a reason why Burmese pythons are illegal," said Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross, citing the deaths of two young boys in New Brunswick, Canada, who were killed by an African rock python while they slept last month.

Gross said Burmese pythons can grow to 30 feet long and are "an accident waiting to happen."

Parrinello has worked on and off as an animal control officer for the town of Brookhaven since 1988, town spokesman Jack Krieger said.

Authorities spotted the snakes during an investigation into whether Parrinello was working while on disability leave from his town job.

During a weeks-long undercover investigation, authorities said, investigators caught Parrinello on camera claiming he had $500,000 in inventory — including snakes, turtles and turtle eggs — stored in a garage he'd converted into habitat space.

Parrinello faces multiple charges of owning the pythons and violating town codes by running a business at his home without a permit. He was issued two violations by the state's Department of Environmental Conservation.

Authorities said Parrinello is cooperating. A man who answered the phone at a number listed on Parrinello's Snakeman's Exotics website said he had no comment.

Gross said the pythons were headed to an animal sanctuary in Massachusetts. It was unclear what would be done with the other snakes.

I thought the same thing when I read the other thread about this...though, depending on the categorization/status of the "sanctuary", there may be a loophole.
if the other 848 snakes arent illegal, why is there an issue with them? Return them. reading this article, he only has two issues, one running a business out of his home, and two the burmese python.
This is NY - when in doubt, confiscate. (actually, that isn't restricted to this state)
Their explanation will probably be something along the lines of code violations (too many animals for the zoning), need to identify, and/or the ever popular "evidence".
Aren't they always looking for a reason to take them away? He gave them a reason. I'm sure he's a great guy and doesn't deserve most of what's going on, but shouldn't an animal control officer know better since I'm sure he probably enforces these same laws?
Roy Gross... He didn't use his favorite line. "These animals are very, very dangerous." Every time there's a reptile "bust" in Long Island he would say that. Personally, I'm more curious about the disability fraud investigation than someone's two pet Burmese pythons. A good waste of DEC resources and news sensationalism.
Maybe but someone who is animal control and is going to talk to the media to badmouth reptiles should at least get his facts straight. I messaged him on the Suffolk County SPCA website and their FB page and never got a response.