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Indiana Pastor Busted Making 100 Tons of Synthetic Weed

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on April 05, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Certain TV shows are known for ripping their plotlines straight from the headlines. And sometimes it goes the other way around. In a story reminiscent of AMC's "Breaking Bad," an Indiana pastor plead guilty to producing almost 100 tons of synthetic marijuana, and using his church as a multimillion-dollar drug trafficking operation.

And that's before you get to the crooked married cop couple, the former traveling clown running for state legislature, and the connections to the imprisoned former head of Jared Fogle's foundation.

Bad and Broken

At the head of the organization were fundamentalist pastor Robert Jaynes Jr., founder of the Irvington Bible Baptist Church, and his brother-in-law and church member Kirk Parsons. As The Indianapolis Star reported:

"Jaynes employed church members in his drug enterprise, and members wrote personal checks to foreign suppliers of illegal substances used to make spice [a synthetic marijuana product]. Some laundered profits through personal bank accounts. Others produced and packaged the drugs at warehouses run by Jaynes and Parsons. One even kept the drug ring's books."

And this was no local operation -- 13 people from multiple U.S. states were indicted for participating in an international cartel that sent the drug as far as China.

Jaynes and Parsons struck plea deals and will be sentenced in July. The Daily Beast is reporting that Doug Sloan was also implicated in the drug-running scheme. Sloan is "a former traveling clown and Libertarian state senate candidate who once allegedly visited a strip club with Russell Taylor, the director of Jared Fogle's youth charity who is serving 27 years behind bars on child porn charges."

A Shepherd and His Flock

According to The Daily Beast, Jaynes begged prosecutors for forgiveness on his parishioners, promising "[t]hey were good people," unaware that they were participating in illegal behavior. Jaynes agreed to plead guilty if prosecutors promised not to indict any other church members.

Although Jaynes was facing a maximum of 25 years in prison, prosecutors agreed to cap his jail time at 12 and a half years. And the crooked cops? Two married sheriff's deputies allegedly worked with Jaynes in his drug lab. Only one of them is facing charges, allegedly for using his badge to provide security for the drug operation.

Jaynes is also quite the musician. He can be seen singing and playing guitar on his church's website -- a song called "We're Not Home Yet." Not yet, surely, but maybe closer come July.

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