One Brooklyn resident earns a ton of extra cash by selling snakes despite a ban on their ownership. Mark Scott, 46, proudly slings boa constrictors out of his parent's Greenpoint basement even though the city prohibits him from owning any member of the Boidae family of nonvenomous snakes.
Scott's more than willing to go to jail over his hustle. “This is a passion to me. If they’re going to lock me up, I swear to you they’re going to lock me up," he told the New York Post. East River Constrictors, which operates from beneath his parent's home, carries heating lamps and cages in addition to the serpents. Scott also keeps a freezer full of rats to feed the snakes.
After raising the snakes, Scott sells them for as much as $3,000 each. He says he ships them inside of cardboard boxes labeled "Handle with Care" that come complete with hot and cold packs. He estimates that he'll make about $100,000 this year in sales.
However, city health codes outlaw the ownership of the snakes, which can grow to be 8-feet long. Scott says that he'd rather move upstate than get rid of his moneymakers. “The minute the guy knocks on my door and says something, the next day, these are gone,” he explained, adding that he's invested nearly $47,000 in snakes and $10,000 in cages.
Scott dismisses the city laws as "a lot of BS," saying that he cares for the snakes the same way he cares for his children.