Viper, Cobras Seized from Meriden Home

Police seized several venomous snakes from a Meriden home and said they found other snakes dead, including a king cobra.

Officials from the state and Meriden police went to a home on Westfield Road in Meriden Thursday after an advertisement was found on a snake forum about several venomous snakes that were for sale.

Officials from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection identified the suspect as 21-year-old Cameron DeFrances, of Meriden, and said he had posted photos on his social media account and listed the snakes for sale.

At the Meriden home, officials found seven snakes that are illegal in Connecticut, including a Gaboon Viper, a Forest cobra, two Egyptian banded cobras and two Monocled cobras. A reptile specialist was called in and transported the snakes to a secure facility for reptiles

A tree viper and a King cobra were also found deceased.

“DEEP takes these cases very seriously,” Colonel Kyle Overturf said in a statement. “The exploitation, importation and trafficking of illegally taken wildlife threatens species in our country and across the world. DEEP helped to pass regulations to prohibit the importation and possession of potentially dangerous animals, including venomous snakes, as a measure to protect the health and safety of our residents and to protect the welfare of these species.”

DeFrances was charged with nine counts of illegal possession of a category-two wild animal and reckless endangerment in the first degree.

DeFrances was released on a $1000 surety bond and is due in Meriden Superior Court on May 10.

A listed home phone number for DeFrances was out of service Friday, according to the Associated Press.

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