73-year-old Boone has more than a passing resemblance to Santa Claus
Montreal police say they were approached by the Kentucky police department and US Marshals back in September, with information about Boone’s location in Canada.
The fugitive pot grower is being held at the Canada Border Services Agency detention center in RDP where he will faced an Immigration Review Board tribunal on Friday at 1:00 p.m. Should he remain detained, he will have another hearing on next Thursday.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for Boone in Kentucky in October of 2008. He was charged with the manufacture and possession with intent to manufacture and distribute marijuana.
Boone is facing a life sentence in prison if caught and convicted of growing pot for a third time. He deeply involved in what was then described as the “largest domestic marijuana syndicate in American history,” by prosecutors.
At one point he operated 29 pot farms in at least nine different states, and was the leader of what would eventually be known as the “Cornbread Mafia”.
The group allegedly, grew 182 tons of marijuana. Boone, whose record stretches back over five decades, has been described as the group’s leader. He was convicted in the 1988 for his part in the ‘grow’ with a 20 year sentence, he went on to serve more than a decade in prison.
John Boone – back in the 80’s
Described by federal authorities as non-violent, but his record includes charges of wanton endangerment and illegal firearms possession.
In the words of Jack Smith, one of his former attorneys, “He was the player. There might have been one or two close to him,” Smith said.
“I never heard of anybody who was bigger.”
Boone, who is believed to be about 73 , Boone, disappeared in 2008, just as authorities closed in to seize the plants at his Kentucky marijuana farm.
The fugitive with a striking resemblance to Santa Claus Boone talked about his pot-growing at the 1988 trial: “With the poverty at home, marijuana is sometimes one of the things that puts bread on the table,” Boone said. “We were working with our hands on earth God gave us.”
The ‘King of pot’
He became something of a folk hero to people in his area of rural Kentucky where it is not uncommon for farmers down on their luck to grow marijuana.
Boone’s last brush with the law in 2008 when Kentucky State Police spotted marijuana plants on his farm during aerial surveillance. The subsequent raid led to the discovery and seizure of the more than 2,400 plants. But the “Godfather of Grass” and “King of Pot” as he is sometimes known was gone.
He has been featured on “America’s Most Wanted,” and may now spend the rest of his life behind bars. Still, his friends want him to remain free, with several complaining that his crimes aren’t worthy of a life sentence: “That’s all he’s ever done, raising pot,” said local resident and longtime friend Larry Hawkins, who owns the bar Hawk’s Place. “He never hurt nobody.”
“That’s all he’s ever done, raising pot,” longtime pal Larry Hawkins said in 2010. “He never hurt nobody.”
Boone is awaiting extradition to the U.S.