MIDDLESBORO, Ky. (February 13, 2013)—Gregory Coots, a pastor in eastern Kentucky, wants Tennessee wildlife officials to return five venomous snakes that were confiscated in Knoxville, Tenn.
Coots, who's known as Jamie Coots, is pastor of at the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro, Ky., where he handles the snakes as part of worship services.
He told WYMT-TV in Hazard, Ky., he bought three rattlesnakes and two copperheads on Jan. 31 in Alabama.
While he was driving through Knoxville, police stopped him for dark window tinting and saw the cages containing the snakes.
A state wildlife officer confiscated the snakes.
The district attorney general's office in Knoxville says Coots was charged with illegally possessing and transporting wildlife.
He was named in a similar charge in 2008 in Kentucky.
He said he now has a permit for snakes in Kentucky.