A North Carolina pastor and his son are facing felony drug charges after authorities said they caught the pair operating an illicit drug operation out of a church.
Josh Price, 50, and Matthew Price, 28, were arrested this week after deputies seized about 12 pounds of marijuana, nearly 32 grams of psilocybin mushrooms, 41 THC vape pens, 20 marijuana plants, and about 2 pounds of tetrahydrocannabinol wax (THC wax) from South Side Baptist Church, the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Deputies responded to the church in Lexington, about 60 miles northeast of Charlotte, after receiving reports someone staying in the fellowship hall behind the church was manufacturing marijuana.
Following an investigation, deputies charged the pastor and his son with manufacturing marijuana, trafficking marijuana, possession with intent to sell and deliver THC wax, three counts of felony maintaining a dwelling, possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, and conspiracy to traffic marijuana.
Both men are due in court for a hearing on the charges on July 25.
Congregant said he warned church
According to local outlet WBTV, the pastor told deputies the church had not been in operation and had been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but former members said the pastor closed the church prior to that.
The church’s Facebook page lists the eldest Price as pastor. He could not immediately be reached by USA TODAY on Friday.
Former church member Mike Lambeth told the outlet he tried “to warn the church” about Price when the pastor first came to the church three years ago.
“I met him one time and our spirits didn’t bear witness at all and I did not think he was a pastor and I told a lot of the members there, ‘y’all better watch out for him,’” Lambeth told the outlet.