How Many Snakes?

A snake in the sofa ...

By Dave Grossi  |   Jul 31, 2018

[Author’s Note: Most of our readers know that I spent a considerable amount of time working undercover narcotics.  While at a family gathering, I was reflecting on some of the more humorous moments during those years. After a few prompts from family and friends, I decided to regale the small group with some of the more hilarious, albeit G-rated, anecdotes. –D.G.]

An early morning search warrant brought us to the home of two dopers in a run-down section of our town. Our team consisted of my UC partner, Ron, me and two other detectives and a CSI officer. While we conducted the search, I kept up a little banter with the two handcuffed perps in the living room.

My attention was diverted to a terrarium where several large Boa Constrictors were kept. I had never been in this residence prior to this day so I was really curious about the coiled reptiles. I had an unpleasant experience a few years earlier in Vietnam with a pit viper, so my gaze was really focused on the glass enclosure.

After a few minutes, I asked my prisoner, “How many snakes do you have?”

Three” she said.

I stared at the terrarium for a few more minutes and focused on the two large but very distinct fisted-sized heads in the enclosure.

How many?” I asked again.

Three,” she repeated.

With this, I walked a little closer and snuck a closer peek at the glass, but still keeping my distance. My prisoner saw what I was doing and added “There’s only two in there. The other is coiled up in the springs of the couch; he’ll come out when he’s hungry enough.”

My partner, Ron, who was shoving his hands into the cushions of that sofa looking for dope jumped about three feet into the air, spun around while off the ground and beat the existing speed record out the front door.

His time would have qualified him for the up coming Summer Olympics.

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Dave Grossi
Dave Grossi is a retired police lieutenant from upstate NY now residing in southwest FL. He was the Lead Instructor for the Calibre Press, Inc. Street Survival Seminars from 1988 through 2000.