CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — A Chesterfield County man is facing several charges after authorities seized eight rattlesnakes from his home.
Mathew Miller faces eight counts of owning a wild or exotic animal, which breaks Chesterfield County ordinance.
“Not a lot of people keep snakes, especially venomous ones,” Chesterfield County Animal Services Manager Carrie Jones explained. “Most people want to run from them, so this is something that we don’t come across very often. Maybe every few years or so.”
Jones added that the snakes Miller was housing are ‘especially venomous.’
“It can be fatal if you don’t seek treatment at a hospital very quickly after the bite,” she explained. “People do die from it. You might have to have a body part amputated if you don’t seek treatment for it.
“It’s a real danger.”
Chesterfield County Animal Services received a tip in May of 2018 that Miller owned venomous snakes and was trying to sell them.
Officers followed up on the tip and went to Miller’s home on 3267 Thurston Road.
Miller did not let them in and told officers he only had Burmese pythons.
In February of 2019, officers monitored his Facebook account where Miller posted several images of Western Diamondback snakes. Officers also found an ad Miller had posted on Fauna Classifieds where he was trying to sell snakes.
The ad was from November of 2018 that read, “massive proven Western Diamondbacks, Caramel Western, Albino Western, Melanistic Western, and Patternless Western.”
Authorities said that Animal Services officers obtained a search warrant on March 27 for his residence and found multiple rattlesnakes.
The snakes were seized and transferred to a representative of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
Miller has been issued multiple summonses. He could face jail time or a fine. He is scheduled to appear in Chesterfield County Court on June 12.