Rodeo Clown Convicted in Marijuana Conspiracy

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By Rachel Begle

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (AP) - A professional rodeo clown is headed to prison after a jury convicted him of a lengthy conspiracy to grow marijuana in rural Iowa.

Rory Meeks of Marion was convicted Friday on one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, and acquitted on a second charge.

Federal prosecutors said Meeks planted marijuana along corn and soybean fields in secluded spots in Jones County, tending the plants throughout the summer. They say the 55-year-old and others harvested and processed the plants in the fall, and sold the marijuana in fall and winter.

Jurors found Meeks was involved in growing more than 1,000 marijuana plants between 2004 and 2011.

Meeks had worked as a rodeo clown and bullfighter in local and national rodeos. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
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