BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A man took venomous snakes home when he left his job at a zoo and kept them in his apartment illegally, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police.
The 28-year-old, whose real name is Brandon Joseph Boyles, has been criminally charged with 23 counts of illegal possession of venomous snakes, nine counts of animal cruelty and one count of reckless endangerment.
Police say that when a search warrant was executed at his Cascade apartment, he had six Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, one seven-foot-long Forest Cobra, one Cape Coral Cobra and two Boomslangs, all of which had the potential to deliver a fatal bite to humans.
Officers say they found snakes housed in plastic bins that could have allowed them to escape into the apartment building. They also say the snakes did not have fresh water in their enclosures, and that two dead cobras were found in a freezer.
The warrant was obtained, officers say, after they learned that when Boyle left his job at the Catoctin Zoo and Wildlife Preserve September he took five venomous snakes, three alligators and a crocodile that he owned with him.
And last November, investigators say, Boyles turned over a Dusky Pygmy Rattlesnake to the Maryland Reptile Conservation Center in Montgomery County.
According to police, on his VenomMan20 YouTube channel, Boyles posted videos shot in his apartment of him unboxing venomous snakes, including a Gaboon Viper, a Monocle cobra and an Indo-Chinese Spitting Cobra in 2015 and 2016.
That channel, which launched in 2009, has more than 20,000 subscribers and his videos have more than 4.7 million views.
Boyles is scheduled to appear in Washington County District Court May 8.