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Uranium, rattlesnake and whiskey found during Oklahoma traffic stop

NBC News logo NBC News 7/11/2019 Janelle Griffith

Police in Oklahoma say they found an open container of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey, a rattlesnake, a gun and a canister of radioactive powdered uranium during a traffic stop of a vehicle that had been reported stolen.

The stop occurred at 11 a.m. on June 26 in Guthrie, Oklahoma, about 30 miles north of Oklahoma City, Sgt. Anthony Gibbs of the Guthrie Police Department told NBC News on Thursday.

Stephen Jennings, 40, who was in the driver's seat, and passenger Rachael Rivera, 30, were arrested, Gibbs said.

Jennings is charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, transporting an open container of liquor, operating a vehicle with a suspended license, and failure to carry security verification form. Rivera is charged with possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction.

The gun was found in the console, a terrarium containing the pet Timber rattlesnake was found in the backseat.

The uranium, which Gibbs said can be purchased legally in some states, was not weapons-grade. It is unclear why it was in the vehicle or how it was obtained, he said.

a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the camera: Image: Stephen Jennings was arrested after finding a rattlesnake, a canister of radioactive uranium and an open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey during a traffic stop in Guthrie, Oklahoma. © Guthrie Oklahoma Police Department via AP Image: Stephen Jennings was arrested after finding a rattlesnake, a canister of radioactive uranium and an open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey during a traffic stop in Guthrie, Oklahoma. "It was nothing we were concerned of as far as him using it as a weapon of mass destruction," Gibbs said. "It's very low radioactivity."

Neither the uranium nor the rattlesnake resulted in charges.

"Many times it would be illegal to possess a vicious or dangerous animal like a rattlesnake, but there are seasons or times where it is legal to hunt rattle snakes," Gibbs said, adding that Jennings has a valid lifetime fishing and hunting license for the state of Oklahoma allowing him to be in possession of a pet rattlesnake.

Jennings and Rivera remain jailed in Logan County.

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