Originally Posted Online: May 15, 2013, 3:41 pm
Last Updated: May 16, 2013, 12:21 am

Wisconsin snake dealer removes pythons from Moline home

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By Dawn Neuses, dneuses@qconline.com

More photos from this shoot
Photo: Todd Welvaert
Jim Stelpflug, of Dickeyville, Wis., holds some of the snakes found in a house in Moline by Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group while officers were executing a search warrant at Tuesday. Mr. Stelpflug raises and sells snakes. He volunteered to take the animals after getting in contact with the owner. Mr. Stelpflug said the snakes appeared to be in good health. Most of the snakes were ball pythons.
More photos from this shoot
Photo: Todd Welvaert
Jim Stelpflug, Dickeyville, Wis., holds the largest of the 30 pythons found in a a house in Moline by Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group while officers were executing a search warrant Tuesday. Mr. Stelpflug raises and sells snakes and volunteered to take the animals after getting in contact with the owner and traveling to the house Wednesday, May 15, 2013. Mr. Stelpflug said the snakes appeared to be in good health. Most of the snakes were ball pythons.

MOLINE -- A reptile dealer from Wisconsin has taken possession of 25 ball pythons found in a Moline basement Tuesday by narcotics agents.

Jim Stelpflug, owner of SW Reptiles in Dickeyville, Wis., removed the snakes from the home at 2027 18th St. B., Wednesday afternoon. He said he saw a message posted on Facebook by the owner of the snakes stating that the snakes needed a home or would be euthanized.

Mr. Stelpflug said the snakes appeared healthy, and the average size was about a foot long. "Everything looked good."

According to Kevin Winslow, director of the Quad City Metropolitan Enforcement Group, narcotics agents executed a search warrant at the residence about 2 p.m. Tuesday. In the process of securing the home, they found the snakes in Rubbermaid containers on shelves in a basement bedroom.

According to Moline city code, constrictor snakes are included under "dangerous animals," which are prohibited in the city.

Mr. Stelpflug said ball pythons can sell for $25 to $10,000. After removing the reptiles from the home Wednesday, he put an approximate value of $200 on each snake he removed.

During the search, agents seized evidence related to an ongoing narcotics investigation, and Mr. Winslow said arrests are imminent.







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