Preacher Turned Drug Lord
An Indiana preacher named Robert Jaynes, Jr. pleaded guilty this week to charges that he’d turned his fundamentalist Baptist church into a massive drug ring specializing in synthetic marijuana.
In a plea agreement reached in federal court this week, Jaynes said he and members of his church produced almost 100 tons of synthetic marijuana.
He also admitted that he sold the drugs for $2.6 million.
The more authorities learn about Jaynes’s drug ring, the more it sounds like something out of a Hollywood movie, or maybe an episode of Breaking Bad.
Apparently, Jaynes was operating as part of a huge international drug ring that included people living and working everywhere from rural Indiana to China.
At some point after founding the Irvington Bible Baptist Church in 1998, Jaynes was able to recruit church members to join the racket.
Authorities have reported that members of the church wrote personal checks to purchase ingredients from foreign suppliers. Other church members then used these ingredients to make the synthetic weed, which they also packaged and prepared for distribution in a warehouse run by Jaynes.
Still others used their personal bank accounts to launder money. And there was even one faithful church member who kept the drug ring’s books.
Throughout the entire operation, Jaynes kept on preaching. Many of his sermons have actually been posted to YouTube.
Here’s one sermon he called “A Reasonable Declaration of War.” In it, he tells his drug-selling congregation, “If you take the D off Devil, you are still stuck with evil.”
And here’s another one, where he and another man sing the gospel song “We’re Not Home Yet:”
After his arrest, Jaynes initially faced a maximum of 25 years in prison and a $1.25 million fine.
But after the plea deal he agreed to this week, prosecutors said they wouldn’t seek anything more than 12 and a half of years behind bars.
In addition to whatever prison time he’ll end up having to serve, Jaynes has to give up at least $41,000 and over 800 pounds’ worth of what the plea agreement describes as “silver colored” coins and bars. Jaynes obtained all of it through his drug manufacturing and selling operation.