Pastor to Tenn.: Give Me Back My Snakes

Pastor needs confiscated creatures for worship services

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff | Suggested by geincolo

Posted Feb 13, 2013 11:06 AM CST

(Newser) – A Kentucky pastor uses snakes in his worship services, and would like the snakes that Tennessee recently confiscated given back to him, thank you very much. Gregory "Jamie" Coots went to Alabama last month to buy three rattlesnakes and two copperheads, but was stopped in Knoxville while driving home because an officer noticed his tinted windows. The officer spotted the snakes, and then the state's Wildlife Resource Agency got involved, WYMT reports.

"He wanted to know if I had any documentation and I told him no," Coots recalls. "He came back a few minutes later and said he was going to take the snakes and containers." Coots says the snakes are now at a zoo, and he wants them back, or at least the containers they were traveling in (one of them "means more to me more than a lot of worldly possessions," he says. "I've had it a long time."). The District Attorney's office says Coots is charged with illegal possession and transportation of wildlife. He was placed on probation in Kentucky in 2008 under similar charges, but says he now has a permit.

Knoxville police confiscated three rattlesnakes and two copperheads.
Knoxville police confiscated three rattlesnakes and two copperheads.   (Shutterstock)
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