12 Pythons Seized in Undercover Sting

New Port Richey teen busted trying to sell snakes on Internet

A dozen pythons were seized from a New Port Richey teenager who was trying to illegally sell the snakes on Craigslist, officials said today.

Bradley Scott Dean, 19, was hit with several misdemeanor charges after an undercover investigator with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission discovered the scheme.

Among the pythons seized Wednesday were two adult Burmese pythons about eight to nine feet long, four reticulated pythons between four and nine feet long and six albino pythons that were small juveniles.

Just last month, the state began its new python hunting permit program, in an attempt to eradicate the non-native species from the Sunshine State. The pythons wreak havoc on Florida's natural species when they're released into the wild, which often happens when owners become careless or simply grow tired of the pythons.

Floridians are required to have a license to own pythons, and another license to sell them. Once the pyhons reach two inches in diameter, a microchip must be implanted to identify the snake's owner. Dean had no licenses, and the larger snakes weren't properly microchipped, according to the FWC.

The snakes were taken to Weebee's Pet World in New Port Richey for safe keeping. Dean may face more charges.

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