Snake-handling pastor forfeits snakes to state

Snake-handling pastor forfeits snakes to state

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"I can go through North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, which as you know, a longer trip, but to stay out of trouble it's worth it," said Pastor Coots. "I can go through North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, which as you know, a longer trip, but to stay out of trouble it's worth it," said Pastor Coots.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A snake-handling pastor from Kentucky was back in court Monday, trying to have his snakes returned to him after they were confiscated by TWRA.

Pastor Gregory Coots is from Middlesboro. He says he was traveling through Knoxville with five snakes last month when he was pulled over by Knoxville police.

Because it's illegal in Tennessee to have any poisonous snakes, they were taken and Pastor Coots has been fighting ever since to get them back.

But on Monday, he did have to forfeit the snakes.

Now Pastor Coots says next time he transports snakes, he will avoid Tennessee.

"I can go through North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, which as you know, a longer trip, but to stay out of trouble it's worth it," said Pastor Coots.

Pastor Coots agreed to a plea deal. His sentence of 11 months, 29 days was suspended and he was given unsupervised probation.

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