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Snake-handling pastor loses his props

Feb. 13, 2013 at 11:17 AM

MIDDLESBORO, Ky., Feb. 13 (UPI) -- A Kentucky pastor who uses snakes in his worship services said police in Tennessee are holding $800 worth of reptiles that belong to him.

Gregory Coots purchased five snakes in Alabama late last month and was on his way back to Kentucky when he was stopped by police in Knoxville, Tenn., WYMT-TV reported.

Coots was pulled over for having dark-tinted windows when the officer spotted containers with three rattlesnakes and two copperheads in his vehicle.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency was summoned to the traffic stop and Coots' snakes were confiscated because he lacked proper documentation.

Coots said the snakes have been placed in a zoo and he is fighting to get them back.

A court hearing on the matter is scheduled in Knoxville on February 25th.

Coots handles snakes as part of his worship services at Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro, Ky.

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