John Kamm and Laura Luke were arrested after a drug bust led police to marijuana and more than 50 reptiles, some venomous. (Image Credit: New Hanover County Police Department)
Monday, August 19, 2013
Two people are being held on almost 40 charges after a North Carolina drug bust led police to more than 50 reptiles, including boa constrictors, cobras and rattlesnakes.
Police went to the New Hanover home as part of a narcotics investigation, but were surprised to find the animals caged and violating regulation.
“The sheer number of reptiles was alarming,” said Sgt. Jerry Brewer. “But the possession of them wasn’t necessarily illegal. They just didn’t meet the requirements.”
North Carolina ordinances state that owners must comply with a variety of regulations to own these reptiles, such as having anti-venom on hand and having cages and containers built to specifications. Wildlife experts had to be called in by police to handle the slithery surprise.
It is unknown if the animals were purchased legally. “If he or she had legally gotten the reptiles and was in compliance with all of the rules and regulations, we might not have had a problem,” Brewer said.
Laura Luke, 44, is facing 18 charges of mishandling dangerous reptiles and is being held on at $50,000 unsecure bond. John Kamm, 33, is facing nearly 30 drug related charges, including manufacturing marijuana, and intent to deliver and sell. His unsecured bond is currently set at $100,000.
The animals were given to the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the North Carolina Zoological Society.