MACON, Ga. — Eight people have been charged with illegal trafficking of venomous and prohibited exotic snakes, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
The DNR launched an investigation into the black market for the illegal sale and purchase of snakes in 2021.
The investigation revealed a multi-state operation with nearly 200 snakes, consisting of 24 species from seven different regions of the world, purchased and sold by traffickers to undercover investigators.
Those species include the inland taipan, bushmaster, rhinoceros viper, African bush viper, Gaboon viper, green mamba, eyelash viper, multiple species of spitting cobra, forest cobra, puff adder and saw-scaled vipers.
Several of these are listed top 10 deadliest in the world, and no anti-venom for treating snake bites for several species is available in Georgia.
38-year-old Timothy James Gould, a Pennsylvania man, was arrested in Georgia on numerous felony and misdemeanor warrants. The other seven people were arrested in Florida.
Gould is a wildlife transporter and does not have a permit in Georgia or Florida for any captive wildlife, including venomous snakes.
At the time of his arrest, Gould illegally had 27 exotic snakes in his possession.