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Georgia man charged for possession of poisonous snakes

In Georgia, you need a license for numerous activities. To drive. To work as an interior decorator. To cut hair. To be a nurse. When you need a license or permit, and don't have it, you can get into trouble.

That's the case with a 28-year-old man who was charged in Jackson County, Georgia, recently after authorities who went to his home to check on reported drug activity found something else — deadly venomous snakes.

The snakes are illegal to possess without proper documentation. The owner was charged with possession of wild animals without a permit, as well as ownership and custody of wildlife and reckless conduct.

The snakes were found in the house where the man lives with his mother and a child. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources shared photos with the media that showed a glass-and-wood enclosure containing one of the snakes. A crib was adjacent to the snake cage.

The department subsequently took custody of the reptiles, which were identified as Gaboon vipers. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the snake is "native to sub-Saharan Africa,[and] has the longest fangs and the highest venom yield of any snake."

The snakes are now in the custody of a private reptile rescue business, which is just one of two places in Georgia permitted to hold such snakes.

Perhaps the man did not know that a permit was required to own the reptiles, which likely isn't granted to ordinary citizens. Typically, however, ignorance of the law isn't a defense. Before a problem arises, a Georgia attorney can answer questions about actions that are allowed and not allowed in the state.

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