Coots was arrested in 2008 by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife for trafficking in illegal venomous snakes. He was convicted and fined. Today he possesses permits to keep and transport snakes legally.
He says any suggestion that the serpents they take up in church are not deadly is ridiculous. Handlers get bitten all the time, he says, and every few years someone dies. He invites his critics at the Reptile Zoo to come to his church to see if the anointing power of God is a sham.
"If they want to bring some of theirs down here, we'd readily handle them. Or if they want to come down here and free-handle ours and see if they don't get bit, they're welcome to do that, too. We get fresh snakes all the time," Coots says.
Welp, God had a good run.