Clowns and Cannabis cultivation… it may sound like an unlikely couple. Yet when you think about it, it makes perfect sense. Clowns are a conflicted group. Performers who choose to wear bizarre oversized 1970′s polyester suits. Bright multi colored wigs; orange, and blue…teased up to look like a bad afro. A scene reminiscent of a horrible acid trip gone sideways. While clowns, at first glance can appear scary, ultimately they are kind — demonstrating the patients of a saint around kids.
Really, who can blame Roy Meeks, a Rodeo clown and Bullfighter, for growing a little weed. Between the kid’s screaming and the bull’s charging horns — growing pot looked like a win, win gig.
Rory Meeks, 55, of Marion, was convicted on March 8 after a three-day trial in federal court in Cedar Rapids of one count of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana. He was acquitted of one count of manufacturing marijuana in April 2011.
According to a news release, evidence at trial showed that Meeks, who worked as a rodeo clown and bullfighter in local and national rodeos, conspired with others to grow marijuana in rural Jones County from 2004 through 2011.
Each spring, Meeks planted marijuana along corn and soybean fields in secluded spots throughout Jones County and then tended the plants throughout the summer, according to the release. Meeks and others harvested the plants in the fall, processed the plants at a house in Jones County and then sold the marijuana over the fall and winter.
The jury found that Meeks was involved in growing over 1000 marijuana plants between 2004 and 2011.
Meeks, who performed as a clown for prominent Iowa City-area charities, now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison and a possible maximum sentence of life in prison, a $20,000,000 fine, a $100 special assessment, and at least 10 years of supervised release following any imprisonment.