FWC charges St. Lucie man with illegal possession of venomous snake
Friday, February 18, 2011
Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459
Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) charged a St. Lucie County man with
having a venomous snake in his home without a proper permit. Kevin
A. Castle (DOB 02/27/71) of Fort Pierce was also issued two
warnings for improper caging. A first-degree misdemeanor is
punishable by up to one year in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Working on a tip, investigators visited Castle's
home on Jan. 28 and observed an Eastern diamondback rattlesnake in
an unlocked cage on the back porch. The cage was not properly
marked or identified as containing a venomous reptile.
Investigators seized the snake.
The Eastern diamondback is a large rattlesnake
native to Florida. Adults can grow to an average of 3-6 feet in
length and can weigh up to 10 pounds.
Diamondback rattlesnakes can strike from a distance
equal to two-thirds of their body length. They are best left alone
when encountered. It is illegal to possess or transport these
snakes without a permit.
"We take captive wildlife regulations very
seriously," said FWC Lt. Chris Harris. "Proper permitting, cage and
security requirements for venomous snakes are important public