Accused operator of Struthers "snake store" remains jailed - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Accused operator of Struthers "snake store" remains jailed

Posted: Updated:
  • More NewsMore>>

  • Agents raid suspected meth lab in North Jackson

    Agents raid suspected meth lab in North Jackson

    Friday, April 25 2014 1:51 AM EDT2014-04-25 05:51:10 GMT
    Authorities have been keeping an eye on a mobile home in Jackson Township ever since neighbors beganreportingsuspicious activity.OnThursday, agents from the Ohio Bureauof Criminal Investigationconverged on the residence inside Shepards Mobile Home park on Mahoning Avenue.Specialists dressed in protective gear were called in to safely remove toxicchemicals that authorities say can be used to make methamphetamine.Authoritiesarrested48-year-old Warren Seitz, who lives in the mobile home with his...More >>
    Authorities have been keeping an eye on a mobile home in Jackson Township ever since neighbors beganreportingsuspicious activity.OnThursday, agents from the Ohio Bureauof Criminal Investigationconverged on the residence inside Shepards Mobile Home park on Mahoning Avenue.Specialists dressed in protective gear were called in to safely remove toxicchemicals that authorities say can be used to make methamphetamine.Authoritiesarrested48-year-old Warren Seitz, who lives in the mobile home with his...More >>
  • Howland house fire claims second life

    Howland house fire claims second life

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:42:25 GMT
    Authorities say the second victim of a Howland Township house fire has died.The Summit County Medical Examiner tells 21 News that 52-year-old Richard Noble died at the burn unit of Akron Children's Hospital just before 4:00 a.m. Thursday.Noble's mother, 80-year-old Naomi Smith died on Wednesday after fire broke out in the duplex they shared on Pegotty Drive.Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the deaths, but authorities believe both likely succumbed to smoke inhalation.Th...More >>
    Authorities say the second victim of a Howland Township house fire has died.The Summit County Medical Examiner tells 21 News that 52-year-old Richard Noble died at the burn unit of Akron Children's Hospital just before 4:00 a.m. Thursday.Noble's mother, 80-year-old Naomi Smith died on Wednesday after fire broke out in the duplex they shared on Pegotty Drive.Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the deaths, but authorities believe both likely succumbed to smoke inhalation.Th...More >>
  • Updated

    Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to head hostage probe at Trumbull jail

    Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to head hostage probe at Trumbull jail

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:40 PM EDT2014-04-25 02:40:12 GMT
    WARREN, Ohio – The “pod” inside the Trumbull County jail where three inmates held a guard hostage sits untouched since the five hour ordeal ended on Wednesday. More >>
    WARREN, Ohio – The “pod” inside the Trumbull County jail where three inmates held a guard hostage sits untouched since the five hour ordeal ended on Wednesday. More >>

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - A Struthers man arrested late Friday when police raided a suspected online snake sales operation at his home remained jailed Monday morning.

According to Mahoning County Jail records, 46-year-old Joseph McCollum spent the weekend in the lockup after authorities found 150 snakes, some of them venomous, inside his home at 538 Fifth Street.

He and 45-year-old Michele Barrett are charged with child endangering and violating laws governing the possession and sale of exotic pets.

Police say that Barrett's 12-year-old son was also living at the home.

There is no record of Michele Barrett being booked into jail, but both have been summoned to answer charges in Struthers Municipal court.

Police say they found the snakes while conducting a welfare check on McCollum, who was bitten by a venomous diamond back rattlesnake. According to police, McCollum left without getting the proper treatment so they were sent to check on him.

"Every room except for the kitchen and the bathroom are the only two rooms that didn't have any snakes at all but right next to the bed, there were snakes in the little boys room or whatever that room is. There was at least 30 of them in there," said Mahoning County Deputy Dog Warden Dave Nelson.

"It's definitely a serious danger. There's a lot of kids in this neighborhood. The houses are very close together. It is a duplex apartment as well," said Struthers Police Detective Jeff Lewis.

Nelson said that the venomous reptiles would be taken to a sanctuary in Kentucky. A snake rescue organization is finding homes for the other non-venomous snakes.

McCollum and Barrett allegedly operate The Boa Store, an online store that sells boa constrictors.

According to the website, www.boastore.com:

"The Boa Store is owned & operated by Joe McCollum, Michele Barrett, & Joseph McCollum, Jr. All of our boa constrictors are captive bred and captive born under personal supervision at our facility in Struthers, OH. We provide personal, individual customer support backed by over 40 years of breeding experience."

Under Ohio's recently enacted Dangerous Wild Animal Act, no later than January 1, 2014, anyone in possession of a restricted snake in Ohio is required to apply for and receive a permit from the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Ohio law generally prohibits any person from:

  • Offering a venomous snake for sale at an auction
  • Allowing a restricted snake to roam off the property where it is confined
  • Removing any teeth from a restricted snake
  • Knowingly releasing a restricted snake into the wild
  • Failing to comply with the following sign requirements:
    • On each container in which a restricted snake is confined, sign warning the public that a restricted snake is in the container
    • At the main entrance to each structure where a restricted snake is confined, a sign warning the public that a restricted snake is in the structure
    • On a vehicle that is used to transport a restricted snake, a sign warning that a restricted snake is in the vehicle

 If a restricted snake escapes, the person that possesses the animal must immediately notify both of the following:

  • The county sheriff and the chief police officer where the escape occurred
  • The ODA Division of Animal Health by calling 1-855-DWA-OHIO

 The person that possesses a restricted snake that escapes is responsible for all reasonable costs associated with the capture or destruction of the snake.

Venomous Snakes

The law also generally requires the owner of a venomous snake to have access to anti-venom for each species of snake they possess at the location where each snake is confined or at a hospital and requires an owner to submit proof to local law enforcement officers of having access to the anti-venom with a list that contains the names of each species of venomous snake the person owns. The owner of a venomous snake is liable for all costs associated with treatment of a bite.

Restricted Snake Possession Permit

This permit is for owners that do not intend to breed, sell, or trade snakes.

 Permit application fees: $150

Liability insurance or surety bond requirements:

  • $100,000 (1-5 restricted snakes)
  • $250,000 (6-15 restricted snakes)
  • $500,000 (16 or more restricted snakes)
  • Note:Financial responsibility requirement only applies to species of the following families: Atractaspididae; Elapidae; Viperidae. Boomslang snakes; Twig snakes

 Additional requirements:

Must be at least 18 years old

  • Must comply with the requirements regarding the care and housing of those snakes that are established in standards adopted by the Zoological Association of America
  • Must sign an affidavit attesting that members of the public will not be permitted to be in physical contact with any restricted snakes possessed
  • Has not been convicted of or plead guilty to a felony drug abuse offense, an offense of violence that is a felony, a violation of animal cruelty statutes, or of failing to report the escape of a non-indigenous animal (background check required)
  • For vipers and venomous snakes, must be able to demonstrate at least two years of experience in the care of the species of snake(s) that are possessed or pass a written examination
  • Must establish and submit a plan of action to be undertaken if a restricted snake escapes
  • Must provide a written statement from a veterinarian stating that the veterinarian is willing to provide veterinary care to the snake(s) when needed

 Restricted snake propagation permit

This permit is for owners that intend to breed, sell, trade or otherwise transfer the animal(s).

 Permit application fees: $300

Liability insurance or surety bond requirements:

  • $100,000 (1-5 restricted snakes)
  • $250,000 (6-15 restricted snakes)
  • $500,000 (16 or more restricted snakes)
  • Note:Financial responsibility requirement only applies to species of the following families: Atractaspididae; Elapidae; Viperidae. Boomslang snakes; Twig snakes

 Additional requirements:

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Must comply with the requirements regarding the care and housing of those snakes that are established in standards adopted by the Zoological Association of America
  • Must sign an affidavit attesting that members of the public will not be permitted to be in physical contact with any restricted snakes possessed
  • Has not been convicted of or plead guilty to a felony drug abuse offense, an offense of violence that is a felony, a violation of animal cruelty statutes, or of failing to report the escape of a non-indigenous animal (background check required)
  • For vipers and venomous snakes, must be able to demonstrate at least two years of experience in the care of the species of snake(s) that are possessed or pass a written examination
  • Must establish and submit a plan of action to be undertaken if a restricted snake escapes
  • Must provide a written statement from a veterinarian stating that the veterinarian is willing to provide veterinary care to the snake(s) when needed
  • SpotlightSpotlightMore>>

  • Updated

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    The Scrappers host “POPS at the Ballpark” featuring the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-04-15 18:04:57 GMT
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark,More >>
    NILES, Ohio – The Mahoning Valley Scrappers and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra are excited to host one of the Valley's premiere summer events, POPS at the Ballpark, presented by Stanley E. Shearer with Northwestern Mutual and 21 WFMJ on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at Eastwood Field.More >>
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Restaurant plans new statue of Joe Paterno

    Restaurant plans new statue of Joe Paterno

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:57:56 GMT
     (AP) - Fans of the late Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno are planning to commission a new bronze statue of him, and place it across from the school. Organizers say the statue will feature Paterno sitting on a bench reading. It's expected to cost about $300,000 and would hopefully be done in 2015 by Philadelphia sculptor Zenos Frudakis. Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers says the school isn't involved in the plan. But a restaurant owner in downtown State Col...More >>
     (AP) - Fans of the late Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno are planning to commission a new bronze statue of him, and place it across from the school. Organizers say the statue will feature Paterno sitting on a bench reading. It's expected to cost about $300,000 and would hopefully be done in 2015 by Philadelphia sculptor Zenos Frudakis. Penn State spokeswoman Lisa Powers says the school isn't involved in the plan. But a restaurant owner in downtown State Col...More >>
  • Woman allegedly sold heroin from hospital bed

    Woman allegedly sold heroin from hospital bed

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-04-23 15:01:45 GMT
    A woman in western Pennsylvania is accused of selling heroin from a hospital intensive care unit and a hospital room.More >>
    A woman in western Pennsylvania is accused of selling heroin from a hospital intensive care unit and a hospital room.More >>
  • Jet stowaway undetected for hours before departure

    Jet stowaway undetected for hours before departure

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 11:44 PM EDT2014-04-23 03:44:25 GMT
    Surveillance cameras at San Jose International Airport successfully captured the teenager on the tarmac, climbing up the landing gear of a jet. But in the end, the cameras failed because no one noticed the security...More >>
    A 15-year-old stowaway who survived a flight over the Pacific in a jet's wheel well spent seven hours undetected in what is supposed to be a highly secure area of San Jose International Airport before the flight...More >>
  • Hot ClicksHot ClicksMore>>

  • Can an app save the planet?

    Can an app save the planet?

    This startup's Earth Day launch has a massive goal: Cut carbon emissions globally. It has its work cut out for it.
    More >>
    This startup's Earth Day launch has a massive goal: Cut carbon emissions globally. It has its work cut out for it.
    More >>
  • 'Captain America' holds onto top box office spot

    'Captain America' holds onto top box office spot

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:47 PM EDT2014-04-22 02:47:39 GMT
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Captain America really is unbeatable - at least at the box office"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has been the top draw at theaters for three consecutive weeks, vanquishing would-be foes including the new thriller starring Johnny Depp.According to Monday's final box office figures, the Marvel sequel added $25.6 million in ticket sales over the weekend. "The Winter Soldier" has made more than $200 million domestically since logging the best April opening in history."Hea...More >>
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - Captain America really is unbeatable - at least at the box office"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" has been the top draw at theaters for three consecutive weeks, vanquishing would-be foes including the new thriller starring Johnny Depp.According to Monday's final box office figures, the Marvel sequel added $25.6 million in ticket sales over the weekend. "The Winter Soldier" has made more than $200 million domestically since logging the best April opening in history."Hea...More >>
  • Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Netflix poised to raise prices after strong 1Q

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:37 PM EDT2014-04-22 02:37:26 GMT
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming such as its popular political drama "House of Cards."The increase, to take place sometime before July, will hike prices by $1 or $2 per month for new customers. The company's nearly 36 million current subscribers will continue to pay $8 per month for at least the n...More >>
    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Netflix is preparing a sequel unlikely to be a hit with its subscribers. The Internet video service is about to raise its prices for the first time in three years to help pay for more Internet video programming such as its popular political drama "House of Cards."The increase, to take place sometime before July, will hike prices by $1 or $2 per month for new customers. The company's nearly 36 million current subscribers will continue to pay $8 per month for at least the n...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms