Sneaky Snake Man Defanged by Judge Over Collection of Deadly Pals
HAGERSTOWN, MD. – Just when fame was beginning to come to a YouTube creator for his series of videos depicting his venomous friends, a Judge has defanged a Washington County man who is known on social media as “VenomMan20”.
The video snake handler was found guilty on two counts of illegal possession of venomous snakes.
Brandon Joseph Boyles, 29, of Cascade, Md., was prohibited from owning “dangerous animals” in Maryland and was required to perform 20 hours of community service by District Judge Marc G. Rasinsky. Boyles also received one year of unsupervised probation.
Billing himself as “VenomMan20” on YouTube, Boyles had six Western diamondback rattlesnakes, one seven-foot-long forest cobra, one Cape Coral cobra and two boomslang snakes when Maryland Natural Resources Police officers searched his apartment Feb. 22. Officers found snakes housed in improperly secured plastic bins and two dead snakes in a freezer. The snakes lacked fresh water and one bin was filthy. All of the snakes are potentially fatal to humans.
Boyles took five venomous snakes, three alligators and a crocodile, which he owned, when he left his job at Catoctin Wildlife Preserve and Zoo in September 2017, investigators determined. It was legal for Boyles to keep the snakes at the zoo, which has a permit to house them. However, Boyles did not have a permit to have them at home.
Boyles posted videos to YouTube in 2016 and 2017, showing him uncrating venomous snakes in his apartment. Those snakes included a Gaboon viper, a monocled cobra, and an Indo-Chinese spitting cobra.
The crocodile, alligators and a rattlesnake were transferred last year to the Maryland Reptile Conservation Center in Dickerson.
An additional 21 charges of illegal possession, animal cruelty and reckless endangerment were dismissed by Judge Rasinsky as part of a plea agreement.