In this Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 photo, a border patrol agent stops a vehicle at a checkpoint in Pine Valley, Calif. California legalizes marijuana for recreational use on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, but that won't stop federal agents from seizing small amounts on busy freeways and backcountry highways. (Elliot Spagat, Associated Press)

Pastor pleads guilty to trying to smuggle 280 pounds of marijuana

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