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Tampa Bay Times

Former Reality Personality Hit With Prison Sentence — Activities Featured on the TV Show Only Hinted at His Slippery Side Project

Dec 10, 2014  •  Post A Comment

The former star of a reality TV show has just been handed a federal prison sentence. The Tampa Bay Times reports that Robbie Keszey, who starred on Discovery Channel’s “Swamp Brothers,” was sentenced to one year in prison in connection with smuggling snakes.

Keszey wrestled with alligators and venomous snakes on his Florida snake farm for the Discovery series, which followed the experienced reptile handler along with his “skittish brother,” Stephen Keszey, as Stephen tried to learn the reptile business.

But Robbie Keszey was reportedly supplementing his income with other reptile-related work: He and business partner Robroy MacInnes smuggled legally protected snakes such as eastern timber rattlesnakes and eastern indigo snakes around the country, along with reportedly shipping them overseas. The pair were indicted in 2012 and convicted last year.

Last week, the paper reports, Keszey received a one-year prison sentence and MacInnes got 18 months.

The show began airing on Discovery in 2011.

Swamp Brothers-Robbie Keszey (L) and Stephen KeszeyThe “Swamp Brothers”: Reptile handler Robbie Keszey, left,
and “skittish brother” Stephen Keszey

One Comment

  1. Hello Tampa Tribune,

    I have followed your paper for quite some time as well as some of your journalists, with much appreciation and respect for their work. Unfortunately this article has tainted my opinion of your credibility now. Your editor should have fact checked this report, even though the writer should have first. If you had, you would’ve seen that Robbie was convicted of conspiracy which is nearly impossible to argue beyond the benefit of a doubt and only included in the indictment because he was a partner in the company but more so because the feds wanted a big name fish in the ring. There was no evidence linking Robbie with any wrong doing, but a jury is hard pressed to say they can’t imagine that he may or may not have known about something if at all. Not to be outdone by a judge who clearly had a hidden agenda which could be seen during sentencing. Honestly, I don’t care what you do with your paper, but if you are just planning to follow the rest into a tabloid journalism black hole then I won’t be following.

    Disappointed,

    Nathan

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