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April 16, 2014

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Teacher arrested after hundreds of living, dead snakes found in home

Image

Nick Ut / AP

Tommy Munoz, with Herpetology Association Rescue prepares a python for transport Wednesday Jan. 29, 2014 in Santa Ana, Calif., at the home of William Buchman, who has been arrested for investigation of neglect in the care of animals, after authorities found at least 300 living and dead pythons in plastic bins inside Buchman’s stench-filled suburban home.

California Teacher Harbors 300 Pythons

A  pythonis is prepared for transport Wednesday Jan. 29, 2014, in Santa Ana, Calif., at the home of  William Buchman.  Buchman has been arrested for investigation of neglect in the care of animals, after authorities found at least 300 living and dead pythons in plastic bins inside Buchman's stench-filled suburban home. Launch slideshow »

SANTA ANA, Calif. — A California schoolteacher was arrested Wednesday after at least 300 living and dead pythons were found in plastic bins inside his stench-filled home in suburban Orange County, police said.

Officers found the snakes as well as mice and rats while searching the Santa Ana house after neighbors complained about the smell of something rotten, police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

"The smell alone — I feel like I need to take a shower for a week," Bertagna said. "They're pretty much in all the bedrooms — everywhere."

The pythons were kept throughout the five-bedroom house.

William Buchman, a 53-year-old teacher in Newport Beach, was arrested for investigation of neglect in the care of animals, Bertagna said.

Animal control authorities had tried to work with Buchman for several months after neighbors reported the smell but sought a warrant after they were not allowed inside the home where Buchman lived alone, Bertagna said.

Efforts to reach Buchman were not immediately successful. A message was left seeking comment at Newport-Mesa Unified School District.

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