Snake, uranium in stolen car fail to rattle authorities

Staff Writer | Jul 19, 2019
The hazardous freight was not a problem – but the driver was arrested anyway on charges which included having an open bottle of whisky in the car.

It was only when police moved to impound the vehicle that they discovered a terrarium with a rattlesnake on the back seat next to a container filled with low-grade radioactive uranium.

The curious find came to light after a routine check on an Oklahoma highway by a traffic officer who’d pulled the car over for an ‘expired licence tag’.

The officer arrested the driver for driving without a licence and not having the required proof of insurance required by Oklahoma law.

During his arrest driver Stephen Jennings informed the police officer that he had a legal firearm in the glove box.  The officer then ran the number plates of the car on the police database and discovered the car was stolen. To the initial charge, several others were added: driving a stolen vehicle, transporting an open container of liquor and driving with a suspended licence.

Passenger Rachel Rivera was arrested for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

The toxic freight on the back seat was found later. A hazardous materials crew was called to remove the uranium.

Jennings was not charged for possession of the uranium as it was within legal limits. He was also not charged for possession of the rattlesnake as he had the requisite licence for catching snakes and it was during rattlesnake hunting season.


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