Washington Co. Man Charged With Illegal Possession Of Venomous Snakes

They reptiles were found in his apartment in Cascade last month.


Cascade, Md (KM) A former employee of the Catoctin Zoo and Wildlife Center has been charged with 23 counts of illegal possession of venous snakes, animal cruelty and reckless endangerment. Natural Resources Police say Brandon Joseph Boyle, 28, of Cascade was charged after officers found the snakes while executing a search warrant in his apartment on February 23rd. They included six Western Diamond Rattlesnakes, one seven-foot long Forest Cobra and one Cape Coral Cobra.

Authorities say all of these snakes have the potential to deliver a fatal bite to humans.

Police began investigating after Boyle started posting videos on YouTube of himself in 2016 and 2017 unboxing venomous snakes in his apartment, including a Gaboon Viper, a Monocle cobra and an Indo-Chinese Spitting Cobra. When he posted  the videos, he used the screen name “VenomMan20.”

The investigation also learned that when he left his job at the Catoctin Zoo and Wildlife Preserve in September, he took five venomous snakes, three alligators, and a crocodile that he owned. In November, he donated a Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake to the Maryland Reptile Conservation Center in Montgomery County.

When Natural Resources Police Officers served a search warrant on his apartment, they say the snakes were found in plastic bins which could have allowed them to escape into the apartment building. They did not have enough fresh water, and one plastic tub was filthy. Officers also found two dead cobras in a freezer.

Boyle is charged with 13 counts of illegal possession of venomous snakes, nine counts of animal cruelty and one count of reckless endangerment. He is scheduled to appear in Washington County District Court on May 8th.,


By Kevin McManus


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