Pastor pleads guilty to trying to smuggle 280 pounds of pot

Rev. John Bishop poses for a portrait on the stage of Living Hope Church on Friday October 21, 2011. Living Hope has reached its goal of $5 million to buy the former K-Mart on Andresen. (Zachary Kaufman/The Columbian)

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — A former church pastor in Vancouver has pleaded guilty to a federal drug charge for trying to smuggle more than 280 pounds of pot into the country from Mexico.

The Columbian reports 54-year-old John Bishop, who led the Living Hope Church for nearly 20 years, pleaded guilty to unlawful importation of a controlled substance Thursday in U.S. District Court in Southern California.

Bishop was arrested Dec. 11 after he was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection while re-entering the country at San Ysidro, California.

A probable cause affidavit says an officer found packages hidden in a wheel well of Bishop's car while conducting a routine inspection. The affidavit says officers who took apart the car found 105 packages weighing 281.88 pounds that field-tested positive for marijuana.

Bishop was released from federal custody Jan. 9 after posting a $25,000 bond.


Information from: The Columbian,

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