The Mountain Eagle
Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

Reptile dealer pleads guilty

A 37-year-old Mayking man has pleaded guilty in Letcher District Court to seven counts of illegally buying, selling and transporting reptiles.

Verlin Ray Short, of 49 Cleo Loop in Pine Creek, was fined $100 for each of the seven counts and was ordered to pay $130 in court costs. Short will receive no jail time for the offenses.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife filed 78 charges of ille- gally buying, selling and possessing venomous snakes against Short in June. Each charge is a misdemeanor offense carrying a maximum penalty of one-year imprisonment and a $1,000 fine.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources Officer Homer Pigman filed 51 additional charges in October. The complaint filed by Pigman says that on July 10 Short unlawfully possessed native reptiles including 21 copperheads and two timber rattlesnakes. Short is also charged with possessing dangerous non-native reptiles including three western diamondback rattlesnakes and one great basin rattlesnake.

Short was charged with 21 counts of possession of wildlife without a permit, four counts of possession of inherently dangerous wildlife, 17 counts of not having transportation permits and nine counts of possession of wildlife for purpose of sale.

All charges against Short were dismissed by the prosecution, except for the seven counts in which he plead guilty.

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