Utah man caught with 20 Burmese pythons in his home
(Robert F. Bukaty | Associated Press file photo) A wildlife biologist holds a Burmese python, captured in Naples, Fla., in 2019. Unified Police arrested a man in Holladay on Friday, Oct. 9, 2020, after finding 20 similar pythons, for which he did not have exotic or dangerous animal permits, in his residence.
A Holladay man has been arrested and is facing charges after animal-control officers found 20 Burmese pythons roaming around his residence.
According to a probable cause statement filed by a Unified police officer, the man, 64, sold a baby python — which is considered an exotic animal — to an undercover officer. After the sale, Salt Lake County Animal Services verified that the man had no permits for either exotic or dangerous animals since 2017.
Officers served a search warrant Friday. In his home, according to the probable cause statement, they found 20 pythons “mostly free-roaming inside.” Ten of the snakes measured longer than 10 feet.
The statement also said officers found marijuana, $2,000 in cash and a firearm — all on the dining room table, in plain sight. Officers also found two unmarked plastic containers full of pills, which were later identified as opiate derivatives.
The man was booked into the Salt Lake County jail and later released under conditions that he check in by phone weekly.
The man is facing 10 counts of possessing an exotic animal without a permit, 10 counts of possessing a dangerous animal without a permit, two counts of possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute and one count of possessing a firearm by a restricted person.
The drug and firearm charges are third-degree felonies, which carry a possible sentence of up to five years.