The Black Collar Crime Series relies on public news stories and publicly available information for its content. If any incorrect information is found, please contact Bruce Gerencser. Nothing in this post should be construed as an accusation of guilt. Those accused of crimes are innocent until proven guilty.
Josh Price, pastor of Southside Baptist Church in Lexington, North Carolina, and his son Matthew stand accused of growing marijuana in the church building. According to news reports, the church closed sometime during the Pandemic. Price and his son, however, kept serving the Lord by growing weed.
A former pastor and his son have been charged with growing marijuana at his former church.
Josh Price, 50, and Matthew Price, 28, were arrested after an investigation that recovered approximately 13 pounds of marijuana and 20 plants as well as other drugs at the former Southside Baptist Church south of Lexington, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office said. The church has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic.
During the investigation, it was determined Josh Price, who lives in the fellowship hall behind the church, was growing marijuana, the sheriff’s office said.
On May 28 officers with the patrol division and detectives with the Special Investigations Division conducted a search at the church building at 1014 Floyd Church Road. In addition to the marijuana, deputies found about 32 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 41 THC vape pens (THC is the psychoactive chemical in marijuana) and about 2 pounds of marijuana wax, a dense, highly potent form of THC. Investigators also recovered grow lights, potting soil, fertilizer and several growing bins, the sheriff’s office said.
The Prices were both charged with felony manufacturing marijuana, felony trafficking in marijuana, felony possession with the intent to manufacture, sell or distribute a Schedule VI (THC wax) controlled substance, three counts of maintaining a dwelling for the distribution or sale of a controlled substance, felony possession with the intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a Schedule I controlled substance (psilocybin mushrooms), felony possession with the intent to sell or deliver marijuana, felony conspire to traffic in marijuana and misdemeanor possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
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