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Indianapolis pastor sentenced in massive synthetic pot operation

Photo of Robert Jaynes Jr. ccredit Mark Alesia/ IndyStar 2015 file photo

ST. LOUIS  — An Indianapolis pastor has been sentenced to 11 and a half years in federal prison for his role in a multi-state synthetic drug ring.

The IndyStar reports that 46-year-old Robert Jaynes Jr. was sentenced this week in federal court in St. Louis. He pleaded guilty last year to drug conspiracy charges, admitting to producing almost 100 tons of synthetic marijuana and conspiracy to commit fraud through the mislabeling of the controlled substance.

Jaynes was pastor of Irvington Bible Baptist Church in the Indianapolis area in 2014 when he was among nearly 30 people indicted. The pastor’s brother-in-law, Kirk Parsons, 47, pleaded guilty to the same charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Delworth says some members of the small congregation were involved in the conspiracy.

Prosecutors say workers were paid up to $200 daily to fill bags with synthetic drugs, and filled up to 10,000 bags a day.

Two former Hendricks County sheriff’s deputies also face charges for their involvement in the operation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.