SHIRLEY - Authorities say a Shirley man was running a snake-breeding business out of his home.
Officials found 850 snakes, including illegal Burmese pythons, three tarantulas, three boxes of small spiders and a freezer filled with between 500 and 1,000 frozen mice in Richard Parrinello's garage.
Brookhaven Deputy Town Attorney David Moran says Parrinello, a town animal control officer, was being investigated for workers’ compensation fraud. Moran says surveillance showed that Parrinello had been running a business out of his home without the proper permits.
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The business is called SnakeMan's Exotics, and according to its website, it breeds snakes and sells them around the world. Parrinello's LinkedIn profile says he has been running the business for the past 12 years.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the DEC, the SPCA and the town are all now part of the investigation.
Officials say it appears Parrinello was caring for the reptiles. They say they were not harmed in any way.
Authorities say Parrinello will face some misdemeanor charges for possessing the Burmese pythons, as well as a number of town code violations.