The Maine Warden Service says an Old Orchard Beach man was responsible for the Gaboon viper that was found dead behind Cinemagic in Saco on March 8.

Warden Rick LaFlamme charged Karl Ramsdell, 35, with keeping illegal wildlife and failing to have an import permit for wildlife.

A woman who was walking her dog behind the cinema found the poisonous African snake, dead on a rock. Wardens concluded that the 5-foot-long snake had probably been left there the night before and died in the overnight cold.

Deborah Turcotte, spokeswoman for the warden service, said wardens have not determined whether the snake was alive when it was left there. She declined to say how wardens found Ramsdell, who was issued a summons Thursday night after an interview.

Ramsdell faces a fine of as much as $500 on the civil charge of keeping illegal wildlife, and $1,000 and a year in jail on the misdemeanor charge of failing to have an import license.

He was found guilty in 2004 of violating a rule involving illegal snakes and was fined $350. State officials had no other information about that incident or the kind of snake involved.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: [email protected]