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Burmese python bust

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Posted by: EricWI at Tue Sep 11 21:11:43 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by EricWI ]  
   

Man Pleads Guilty To Burmese Python Sale

One 14 foot Burmese Python and 28 Juvenile Pythons Were Captured as Part of this Investigation

(Long Island, NY) A joint investigation by New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Environmental (DEC) Conservation Officers and Investigators and Special Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has resulted in a Bay Shore man pleading guilty to attempting to sell Burmese Pythons.

According to DEC investigators a buy and bust operation had many twists and turns as DEC officers and investigators and USFWS special agents spent days trying to gain the trust of an individual who had advertised on Craig’s List the sale of Burmese Pythons.

After finally winning the suspect’s trust officers and investigators set up a meeting at a parking lot in Oakdale on July 13. At this lot a DEC officer served as a buyer where he negotiated to buy 23 juvenile pythons for $2,400.

Soon after this sale was completed law enforcement officers swept in and found that the suspect, Arthur Davidson of 1149 Hyman Avenue, Bay Shore, also possessed one 14-foot long 100 pound breeder female Burmese Python and an additional five juvenile pythons in a bag in his car.

“The work done by DEC officers, investigators and USFWS special agents in this case took a dangerous invasive species off the streets and out of the environment,” New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Peter A. Scully said. “All too often individuals who traffic in these types of animals find that they can no longer care for them and release them into the wild. Once there they become dangerous predators that have the potential to kill humans. This operation prevented this from happening.”

On September 5, Mr. Davidson plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge of selling wild animals as pet and was fined $5,000 by Judge Gaetan B. Lozito at the First District Court in Suffolk. Prosecution of the case was handled by New York State Assistant Attorney General Hugh McLean.

Burmese Pythons are one of the six largest species of snakes in the world. Native to Southeast Asia they were imported into the United States for the pet trade. In their native environment they are hunted for their skins and meat, leading to a huge drop in their numbers in the wild.

Their fast growth rate made them popular as pets. This also, however, led to their introduction into Florida’s Everglades where they have begun to displace native species. In the wild, they can grow as long as 22 feet and weigh up to 200 pounds.

Burmese Pythons have been banned for interstate transport by the USFWS due to the ease this species has in adapting itself to warm weather environments. In New York, a DEC permit is required to possess these animals.

The investigators found that three male officers could not straighten out the 14-foot snake 100 pound snake that was taken from Mr. Davidson, unless she let them.

The snakes have since been donated to educational and research institutions for their use. Both facilities have permits from DEC to possess these animals.

To report any environmental crime, please contact DEC’s toll free 24-hour TIPP hotline at: 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332). DEC keeps the identity of all TIPP callers confidential.
www.newsli.com/2012/09/11/man-pleads-guilty-to-burmese-python-sale/


   

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