Man admits having venomous snakes
A man pleaded guilty in a Maryland court last week after a search of his home turned up six rattlesnakes and two cobras, authorities said.
Brandon Joseph Boyles, 29, of Cascade, Md., was prohibited from owning “dangerous animals” in Maryland and was required by a judge in Washington County to perform 20 hours of community service, the Maryland Natural Resources Police said.
He pleaded guilty May 8 to two counts of illegal possession of venomous snakes, the police said.
According to the Natural Resources Police, Boyles has been known on social media as “VenomMan20.”
On Feb. 22, his home was searched by officers from the Natural Resources Police, who found six western diamondback rattlesnakes, a seven-foot-long forest cobra and a Cape Coral cobra, the police agency said.
Two boomslang snakes were also found, the police said.
The boomslang, less well known than the cobra or rattlesnake, has large eyes and lives in sub-Saharan Africa.
All the snakes found were potentially fatal to humans, the Natural Resources Police said.
In a statement, the state authorities said that in the search in February, officers found snakes housed in improperly secured plastic bins and two dead snakes in a freezer.
The police said that the snakes lacked fresh water and that one bin was dirty.
In their statement, the police said Boyles had left a job at the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in September 2017, taking with him five venomous snakes that he owned.
It was legal to keep the snakes at the zoo, the police said. However, they said, Boyles had no permit to have them at home.
When he left the zoo, the police said, he also took with him other animals he owned: three alligators and a crocodile.
Those animals, according to the police, were transferred last year to a reptile conservation center.