David Beauchemin / Damon James Heynen: Fugitive Snake Farmer Busted Again In East Texas

Categories: Crime

David Beauchemin.JPG
Wood County Jail
David Beauchemin: High End Herps is a great company name.

UPDATE:At a court appearance this week in Wood County, Beauchemin stated for the record that his real name is Damon James Heimen. A judge decreed that all of the snakes confiscated in last week's raid were now wards of the Humane Society of North Texas, and that Heimen owes them $4,000 for their care. Speaking of care, a snake expert told the court that the most of the snakes were underfed and dehydrated and that some of them suffered from "mouth rot."

Authorities from several law enforcement agencies and a handful of private-sector reptile experts raided the snake farm of David Beauchemin yesterday in Wood County. Before the day was done, the deputies, game wardens and employees of the Caldwell Zoo had hauled off 78 boas, anacondas and pythons ranging in length from four to 12 feet. One of the snakes -- an albino Burmese python, has a street value of $20,000 several hundred dollars.)

Beauchemin fled Louisiana after jumping bail on a similar case. The ill-coiffed, 45-year-old Cajun and his 23-year-old wife Tawni were arrested after a March 2010 raid at their combined home/place of business.

Make that businesses: Not only were they operating a snake farm with the unfortunate name High End Herps Inc. (which sounds like something you would catch from a Manhattan call girl), but also Happy Hounds Rescue, an animal shelter they advertised on Craigslist as a "germ free safe haven" for cats, dogs and other more conventional pets.

It was Happy Hounds that brought on their downfall. A woman told police she found the dog she entrusted to the Beauchemins for sale on Craigslist, and that complaint triggered the raid.

That woman's pooch might have been one of the lucky ones. Louisiana authorities now think that some of the puppies and kitties the Beauchemins pledged to shelter wound up as slowly digesting lumps in the bellies of the giant snakes. According to some reports, there had also been a rash of missing-animal complaints in the area after the Beauchemins set up shop.

"We found conditions relating to cruelty to animals," said an Allen Parish cop last year. "Sanitary conditions there were very poor. We have been seizing evidence that will be tested later in the lab to see if there is anything illegal pertaining to the animals."

Police say that David and Tawni Beauchemin were living in squalid conditions. They shared sleeping quarters with their reptiles in a snake barn, which did not have a flush toilet. They told police they burned their own feces in a barrel; as for the snake-shit, police say they pretty much just left it where it lay.

Marc Duhon, a Lafayette-based (legit) snake raiser, says that conditions were appalling. He helped authorities clean up High End Herps and characterizes the scene as "total chaos and filth."

"It was total Third World conditions in there," he says. "Just death everywhere, these reeking smells. I couldn't believe any animals were alive in there."

He says that Beauchemin also threatened him after his arrest. "He told me he was gonna blow my house up, burn it down, shoot me in the head and dance around like a demon," Duhon remembers. "He's a weird guy."

Charges are still pending in the Texas case. Beauchemin was extradited back to the swamps to face 22 counts of animal cruelty along with numerous other violations relating to improperly operating a snake farm, not to mention telephone harassment and cyberstalking charges.

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17 comments
meccanewz
meccanewz

DUNDEE used to be a name he used about ten years ago, I met beefer, chikita, and dusty as well

as Tuesday the alligators, this guy has so many names it makes my head spin, I'd like to find out about the 6 years he spent behind bars for murder, this prick also owes me $5,000 for a bond I posted ( yes silly me ) so glad I never kept this friendship........ Damon, your the lowest form, karma has bitten you this time !!!!

Meandnike71
Meandnike71

Checkmate Damon! Your card has officially been pulled! When they let you out this time we'll still be watching and we'll find you....again.

Garethb
Garethb

I wish I could beat the shit out of this asshole myself. Little bitch.

Robert
Robert

I like how this journalist uses the term "street value" as if they're discussing some type of illegal substance for sale here. An albino burmese is worth approximately $400, so the $20,000 pricetag is quite an exaggeration. The writer should have done some homework before making such statements. I'm glad this guy isn't mishandling animals anymore, its a shame how they were being kept.

Pitbull292006
Pitbull292006

Jesus christ, you reporter people can't get anything right. An albino burmese python does NOT have a "street value" of $20,000. Hell they don't even have a market value of $300.00 lol.....You people are the dumbest

Reptileshirts
Reptileshirts

not taking any sides but it has been 20 years since and albino burm was worth $20,000 .....try $200.

Psychobillyniki
Psychobillyniki

Like we need this in TX! TX has like everywhere else is closing in on exotic pets and reptiles.

Hill
Hill

Female P.E. teachers called, they want their haircut back.

Sunshinelady330
Sunshinelady330

There is a Hell for misusing Animals aka Animal Cruelity.It is about time for the law to protect our ppl and animals against abuse.This man is not only a animal abuser, but seems like a robbing the crater of young females as his mates'.He uses many different names and always has been continuously beening able to post bond, and get away with Murdering Animals from one state to another for some time now.

shaz
shaz

what's with the hair???

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

I stand corrected; I was just going off of what was in other reports written by people who were on the scene. The "street value" thing was kind of a joke.

Tscmkh
Tscmkh

The saddest thing about this case is that he will get more time for the harassment and stalking charges than he will for the cruelty to these poor animals. Our legal system sucks when it comes to protecting innocent animals.

Guest
Guest

Female "Joe-Dirt".........

John Lomax
John Lomax

Kinda looks like a Czech hockey star from 1994.

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