Florida Man Faces Up to Five Years In Prison For Black Mamba Snake Bite Hoax

Categories: WTF Florida
black mamba.jpg
On November 21, 2011, John Kenneth Rosenbaum burst into a South Georgia hospital begging for treatment. He had puncture wounds on his arm and the words "BLACK MAMBA" scrawled in marker on his skin.

But the bullsh*t bite is now coming back to haunt Rosenbaum. The 24-year-old Jacksonville resident faces up to five years in prison after he was convicted Friday of lying to federal agents about being bitten by the snake, which is one of the deadliest in the world.

Rosenbaum falsely told Feds that he had driven across state lines to meet a snake seller, but the deal had gone wrong when the deadly snake escaped and bit him. The hoax caused a massive snake-hunt and public panic.

Rosenbaum kept up the lie for five months before admitting that he had, in fact, been bitten by his pet Egyptian banded cobra.

In court, Rosenbaum claimed he was delirious from the cobra bite, and didn't intend to mislead anyone. Prosecutors were not forgiving.

"Over concerns that a Black Mamba snake was on the loose in a populated area, a coordinated search and investigation by United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Kingsland Police Department, Camden County Sheriff's Department, and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission was mobilized," according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's office. "Over 1,000 hours of law enforcement time were utilized in the search and investigation."<

The worst part of the horrible hoax? Egyptian banded cobras are already pretty freakin' poisonous.

The lesson here is not to mess around with snakes. Unless, of course, you are killing them for fame and fortune.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes. Follow this journalist on Twitter @MikeMillerMiami.
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