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Local News in Brief : Midway City : Arresting Officer Finds 14-Foot Python in Auto

Sheriff’s Deputy Ken Stills, who arrested two men after finding a small amount of methamphetamines in their car, also discovered three pythons--one of them a 14-footer--loose inside the car, authorities said Thursday.

The men were released from jail, officials said, but the non-venomous snakes had yet to be claimed Thursday afternoon from the Orange County Animal Shelter in Orange, where deputies left them after the search and arrests early Wednesday.

However, shelter officials said one of the men had telephoned to say he would pick them up.

Sheriff’s Lt. Robert Rivas said the deputy first became suspicious when he saw two men sitting in a parked car at a closed and darkened Shell gas station at Beach Boulevard and McFadden Avenue.

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After viewing a “furtive movement in the vehicle,” Rivas said, the deputy allegedly found methamphetamines beneath the front seat. The deputy ordered both men from the car and began searching it further.

“As he looks inside the car there . . . turns out to be a 14-foot Burmese python . . . loose in the back of this Datsun 510 hatchback,” Rivas said. Stills found the other two snakes, 4 feet and 6 feet long, in a gunny sack.

Arrested on suspicion of possession of dangerous drugs were Lee Andrew Ham, 27, of Fountain Valley and Donald Christian Guthrie, 18, of Westminster. Rivas said they were booked into County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail each, but later were released on their own recognizance.


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