- Associated Press - Thursday, July 19, 2012

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - William “Billy” Bretherton, star of the A&E reality TV show “Billy the Exterminator,” has pleaded not guilty along with his wife to drug charges in his home state of Louisiana.

Bretherton and his wife, Mary, were arrested in June on drug possession charges. At the time, they surrendered to police on a warrant charging them with one count each of possession of synthetic marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

On Wednesday, the couple each entered the pleas in a state court. According to court documents, they had not yet hired an attorney but planned to do so before a Sept. 19 hearing before a judge.

Bossier City spokesman Mark Natale said police were called April 28 to a hotel there after a 911 hang-up call from a room there. He said police found the Brethertons, who live in nearby Benton in Louisiana’s northwestern corner, with suspected synthetic marijuana and a device commonly used to smoke narcotics. The arrest warrant was issued after items recovered from their hotel room tested positive for synthetic marijuana, Natale said.

The Brethertons surrendered June 1, posted $6,000 bond each and were released.

A&E has not responded to requests for comment since then, but a video and bio promoting his reality show are still on the network’s website. The show follows the spikey-haired, leather-bound Bretherton as he responds to calls to trap or kill various pests. Clips in the video show him trapping a snake, swatting at bees and chasing a goose with an umbrella.

Bretherton is founder of the family-owned pest control business Vexcon LLC, based in Louisiana. Calls and emails to the business have not been returned, and a residential listing for the Brethertons was unavailable.