News Releases

FWC busts Miami man for selling pythons on craigslist without proper licenses

News Release

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Media contact: Gabriella B. Ferraro, 772-215-9459

After receiving information that a Miami man was selling reticulated pythons on the Internet without proper licenses, investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) went undercover to buy the reptiles of concern.

Posing as a buyer, an investigator answered the seller's craigslist ad and set up a meeting on May 21 to purchase and collect the snakes in Miami. The seller told the investigator that he did not have a license to possess the snakes. The investigator bought two reticulated pythons for $20 apiece and indicated that he did not have a license either. It is unlawful for an unlicensed person to possess a reptile of concern or to sell wildlife without a sales license.

Miguel C. Ruitort (DOB 01/07/90) of Miami was charged with three misdemeanors: selling wildlife without a license, possessing reptiles of concern without a license, and selling reptiles of concern to an unlicensed person. Ruitort released the snakes to the FWC. He also was issued three written warnings for additional reptile-of-concern violations.

Reptiles of concern must be licensed by the FWC's Captive Wildlife Section to be kept as pets. The license costs $100 per year and mandates specific caging requirements. All reptiles of concern more than 2 inches in diameter must be implanted with a microchip that identifies the animal.  It is unlawful to allow one to escape or to release one into the wild.

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