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The Campbellsville man facing 25 criminal charges after Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources officers found several venomous snakes and alligators at his home has been arrested and charged with wanton endangerment.
According to a Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife press release, Freddie Stone, 36, of 552 Mt. Carmel Road was charged after the animals were found Friday, March 28 at 10 a.m. at his Campbellsville home.
Stone was originally charged with 15 counts of transporting protected wildlife into Kentucky without a transportation permit and 10 counts of possessing inherently dangerous animals.
Fish and Wildlife officers stated Friday that Stone has been arrested and officers have also charged him and his wife, Amy, with four counts of wanton endangerment. The release states bond was set at $50,000 each.
Taylor County Sheriff John Shipp said Freddie Stone was also charged with selling a controlled substance.
Along with the Stones, officers arrested Carl Harris, 37, of Campbellsville, and charged him with selling a controlled substance, possession of drug supplies and interfering with or obstructing an investigation.
As of Friday afternoon, the Stones and Harris were on their way to be booked at the Marion County Detention Center.
The release states Fish and Wildlife officers returned to the Stone home with arrest warrants after they found six western diamondback rattlesnakes, a gaboon viper, a king cobra, a timber rattlesnake, an iguana, two monitor lizards, two alligators, a boa constrictor and a python in the home a two weeks earlier. Officers also seized a 2006 Dodge extended cab truck and found what appeared to be a controlled substance and about $10,000 in cash, according to the press release.
The first Fish and Wildlife press release stated that officers visited the home after receiving a tip about the dangerous species. Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesperson Mark Marraccini said the department received a tip that Stone had the animals at his home. Officers went to Stone's house and simply asked if the animals were there.
Stone was not at home during the search and seizure, the release states, though his wife and four young children, ages 2 to 11, were present.
Stone's wife told officers her husband was in a Louisville hospital having fingers amputated after being bit by a snake. Officers then spoke with Stone by phone and he claimed ownership of the illegal species.
Marraccini said having the type of animals at Stone's home is legal in some states, but Kentucky is not one of them.
"They're inherently dangerous by definition," he said. "We don't need them in Kentucky."
He said someone bitten by venomous animals like the ones found at Stone's home could suffer severe injuries or possibly die.
Such animals, if they had escaped, Marraccini said, could possibly survive with Kentucky's native species, though he says they should not mix.
"They don't need to be in Kentucky and mix with our native species."
The penalty for violating state law prohibiting the transporting of protected wildlife, Marraccini said, is a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000. For a second offense, he said, the punishment is a fine of not less than $500 or more than $1,500. For any subsequent offenses, Marraccini said, a violator could face a $2,000 fine.
Court records list Stone's first name as Freddy though driver's license records spell his name Freddie.
According to court records, Stone is scheduled to appear in Taylor District Court at 9 this morning for arraignment on his previous charges.