Authorities seized about 850 exotic snakes worth $500,000 during a raid on the Shirley home of a Brookhaven town animal control officer suspected of workman’s compensation fraud on Thursday afternoon, officials said.
Richard Parrinello allegedly sells pythons and boa constrictors out of a garage at his Auborn Avenue home through his website, SnakeMansExotics.com.
“What makes this case especially egregious is that this individual was allegedly operating this reptile business out of his home, posing an unknown threat to the neighbors of this community – while collecting a taxpayer funded salary for a town job that he claimed he could not show up for because of medical reasons,” said Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine.
The raid was a joint operation between the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Suffolk County police, the Suffolk SPCA and Brookhaven town investigators, officials said.
The house of snakes was discovered during an undercover investigation prompted by an anonymous tip regarding an illegal garage.
Charges are pending against the 44-year-old man, who was slapped with two violations by the DEC.
The raid comes three weeks after authorities held their second Long Island Reptile Amnesty Day designed to counter more than a dozen baby alligators found in Nassau and Suffolk counties over the past year.