LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The “Godfather of Grass” — which generated Internet following for his heroics during his run from the law — is facing prison time after admitting his involvement in a marijuana operation in rural Kentucky almost a decade ago.
John Robert “Johnny” Boone pleaded guilty this week in federal court in Louisville for one count. He is accused of conspiracy to possess, grow and distribute more than 1,000 marijuana plants in an operation near Springfield, Kentucky, U.S. Attorney Russell M. Coleman said Wednesday. Boone watered and fertilized the plants on a farm in the neighborhood of his home, prosecutors said.
Boone’s roots in the marijuana business are reputed to be deep. Decades ago, prosecutors said he led a multi-state marijuana operation known as the “Cornbread Mafia.”
His lawyer said he was in court and could not immediately comment.
Boone fled to Canada after the 2008 indictment on federal drug charges in Kentucky, and he spent eight years on the loose until his arrest in late 2016. Canadian officials him over to the AMERICAN authorities, and Boone returned to Kentucky to face the charges.
As part of his plea agreement, Boone faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 good at his sentencing on March 15, prosecutors said.
Boone, now in his 70s, was sentenced in the 1980’s and got ten years in prison for what prosecutors called a massive marijuana syndicate. They said he was the head of the Cornbread Mafia, who had 29 farms in Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Wisconsin.
Boone was featured on the TV show ” America’s most Wanted,” the prompting of a Facebook page called Run, Johnny, Run. He is described as a tattooed Santa Claus.