Canadian police have charged a man with criminal negligence causing death after two young brothers were asphyxiated by a python.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police announced the charge against Jean-Claude Savoie on Tuesday.

Four-year-old Noah Barthe and his 6-year-old brother, Connor, were found dead on Aug. 5, 2013, after an African rock python escaped its enclosure inside Savoie's apartment in Campbellton, New Brunswick, where the boys were staying for a sleepover.

Police said at the time that the 45-kilogram (100-pound) snake escaped a glass tank through a vent and slithered through a ventilation pipe. Its weight caused the pipe to collapse, and it fell into the living room where the boys were sleeping. Autopsies concluded that the boys died from asphyxiation.

Savoie owns an exotic pet store.