Vancouver ex-pastor accused of trying to smuggle 281 pounds of pot into U.S. from Mexico

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)

A former Vancouver pastor was arrested Thursday in Southern California and is accused of trying to smuggle more than 280 pounds of marijuana into the United States from Mexico, according to KATU’s news partner, The Columbian.

The Columbian reports John Bishop, 54, the former lead pastor of Vancouver’s Living Home Church, was arrested Dec. 11 after he was stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection at 5:25 a.m.

Bishop was re-entering the United States through the port of entry at San Ysidro, Calif.

While inspecting Bishop’s car, an agent found packages hidden in a wheel well.

A narcotics detection dog examined the vehicle and alerted officers to the undercarriage and trunk of the car.

Investigators disassembled the car and found 105 packages of marijuana weighing 281.88 pounds.

Agents reportedly found packages in the car’s bumpers, rear seat, dashboard and at least one wheel well.

Bishop was detained and charged with unlawful importation of a controlled substance, according to a complaint filed Dec. 12 in the U.S. District Court.

The Columbian reports his trial is set for Feb. 8.

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