Greenville County Sheriff's deputies have arrested an Upstate couple for putting their children in harm's way, by allowing them to live in a home with eight venomous snakes.
Charles and Rebecca Dutton of 4253 Geer Highway have each been charged with two counts of unlawful neglect of their 3-year-old and 2-month-old children, after it was determined they did not have a license, permit or certificates to possess venomous snakes. Deputies said they also did not have the proper housing for the snakes, putting the children at unreasonable risk for harm.
On April 26, deputies responded to the home in reference to an animal complaint involving venomous snakes. Eight reptiles were seized from the home at that time by Animal Control, deputies said. The snakes are now in the care of a rescue organization.
The case was then forwarded on April 30 to the Sheriff's Office Crimes Against Children Unit for further investigation.
Deputies said after consulting with Animal Control and the reptile coordinator for the Greenville Zoo, investigators determined the couple did not have the proper certificates to possess the snakes.
The Duttons were arrested at their home on Thursday. The Duttons are being held at the Greenville County Detention Center.
In bond court Thursday afternoon, both were issued a $3,000 recognizance bond for each charge. The Dutttons could face up to 20 years imprisonment, deputies said.