Venomous snakes getting trafficked on the Florida black market involving one man from Cape Coral.
FWC began conducting an undercover investigation in 2020 called “Operation Viper.” The investigation revealed 24 distinct species from seven different regions of the world, totaling 200 snakes.
A White-Lipped Island Pit Viper. CREDIT: FWC
Paul Edward, 48, from Cape Coral, is facing charges resulting from the two-year venomous snake trafficking FWC investigation. Vipers, cobras, and even the most venomous snake in the world, the Inland Taipan, native to Australia, were discovered during Operation Viper.
One woman living in Miller’s community, who didn’t want to go on camera, was shocked to discover what was happening.
The highly venomous Eyelash Viper. CREDIT: WINK News
“This is an HOA, and we have rules and regulations in here. And that’s one of them you can’t have snakes,” the woman said.
FWC didn’t specify where Miller kept the snakes.
WINK News knocked on his door to speak with him, but nobody answered.
An Egyptian Cobra. CREDIT: FWC
Miller is charged with four Second-Degree misdemeanors regarding caging and labeling. FWC said during their investigation some of the snakes discovered are among the most dangerous in the world. Much of what happened took place on specialized websites or closed social media pages.
“Trafficking is an extensive problem globally, especially in the state of Florida. Especially in this case with venomous reptiles due to public safety and the ecosystems of Florida,” FWC major Randy Bowlin, said.
Miller does not face any trafficking charges, but FWC said Miller aided in the falsification of required experienced hours documents.