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Snake River Dairy Farm owner faces criminal charges

A man who owns a dairy farm in southeastern Washington state was indicted Wednesday on two counts of felony animal cruelty, a misdemeanor, and a misdemeanor charge of theft after a man allegedly stole a pair of snakes from the farm.

The charges stem from an incident last month when a man who lives at the farm reported seeing two snakes tied to a tree near his home.

When police arrived at the property they found the snakes bound to a chain and a piece of rope, said Sgt. Jennifer Smith, a spokeswoman for the King County Sheriff’s Office.

The man who was arrested told investigators that he used a hammer to free the snakes and cut the rope, Smith said.

He faces up to 10 years in prison on the felony charges and up to five years on the misdemeanor charge.

The charges are pending a detention hearing.

The investigation into the theft and the man’s motive for the snakes remains open, Smith added.