USATODAY Police in Southern California arrested an elementary school teacher Wednesday after 350 dead pythons were found in his home.
Neighbors in the Orange County city of Santa Ana said they had complained for several months about the stench of death, which could be smelled 300 feet away and made residents gag, the Los Angeles Times reported.
William Buchman, 53, who teaches in upscale Newport Beach, was booked for animal cruelty after police served a search warrant.
All but two of the snakes were dead and rotting in the five-bedroom home, which was filled with garbage and feces from mice and rats. Trash filled the backyard.
"The smell is ungodly," police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the Orange County Register.
Buchman was breeding the snakes to achieve various color and patterns.
Such "morphs" had previously fetched $1,500 but now sell for about $200 because the market is oversaturated, Sondra Berg, an animal services supervisor, told the Register.
She said Buchman was apparently depressed by his mother's death three years ago, which worsened a hoarding disorder and caused him to neglect the snakes.