By Tony Blais
A drug-dealing “reptile fanatic” who kept two adult Prairie rattlesnakes and 22 of their babies at an Edmonton home was sentenced to 90 days on Tuesday.
Jason Motiuk, 26, pleaded guilty in Provincial Court to one count of possession of wildlife and one count of hunting wildlife for which there is no open season.
Judge Terry Matchett also slapped Motiuk with a five-year hunting ban, which is to run consecutive to a five-year hunting ban he was given in 2011 after being convicted then of possessing and trafficking rattlesnakes in 2010.
Matchett said it was aggravating that there were children living in the home where the snakes were kept, Motiuk knew the rules and “ignored” them and the snakes were brought to Edmonton from their southern Alberta habitat.
“This is a dangerous species and there were children in the home,” said Matchett.
“It’s a dangerous animal and probably one that doesn’t deserve to be in a private residence. They deserve to be left alone.”
Crown prosecutor Damian Rogers told court that wildlife officers accompanied police on a Sept. 12 drug raid at an Edmonton home after receiving some information.
The officers found several terrariums in a detached garage on the property and discovered there were two adult Prairie rattlesnakes and 22 babies, of which one was loose in the garage, said Rogers.
Court heard Motiuk was not living at the home, but he had brought the snakes there in mid-August and the babies were hatched three days later. More....