Hollywood man kept unregistered Burmese pythons in cooler, duffel bag

Christopher Hungria, 19, arrested after failing to appear in court

By Peter Burke - Local10.com Managing Editor
BSO/FWC

Christopher Hungria was arrested after he failed to appear in court to face four misdemeanor wildlife charges.

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - A Hollywood man who kept two unregistered pythons in a cooler and a duffel bag was arrested Wednesday after he failed to appear in court to face misdemeanor wildlife charges, authorities said.

Christopher Hungria, 19, was cited by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in December on four misdemeanor counts of introducing non-native species to the state.

According to the initial incident report, an anonymous tip led investigators to Hungria's Hollywood apartment, where he was in the process of moving out.

When a wildlife officer asked Hungria if he was keeping any Burmese pythons inside, he said he wasn't. However, when the officer searched the apartment, he found a black duffel bag with an 8-foot-long Burmese python inside, the report said.

"Mr. Hungria stated that the Burmese python was his, but he thought it was in his roommate's car with his other Burmese python," the officer wrote.

The officer then searched Hungria's roommate's car and found a 9-foot-long albino Burmese python inside a cooler, the report said.

Hungria said both pythons were his and that he didn't have a permit for them or any records showing who he bought them from online, the report said.

The FWC says this the duffel bag and cooler where the Burmese pythons were found.

The officer also verified that the snakes were not microchipped as required by law, the report said.

"I informed Mr. Hungria of his mandatory court appearance and asked if he had any further questions," the officer wrote. "He stated that he will show up for his arraignment and did not have any further questions."

Hungria was interviewed by the ABC affiliate in New York City in August after his grandmother was robbed by two women posing as police officers. Hungria said he hid his money in a lockbox in an enclosure where he kept the snakes.

"That's why I leave it there, so my snakes could bite their fingers off," Hungria told WABC-TV.

The snakes were turned over to the FWC.

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