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‘Godfather of Grass’ seeks Elkton release

ELKTON — The “Godfather of Grass,” who was sentenced for his role in a large marijuana operation after eight years on the run, has asked a judge to release him from the federal prison here. John Robert “Johnny” Boone vouched for his release on the grounds that he is 76, in poor health and has served most of his 57-month prison sentence, The Courier Journal in Louisville, Ky., reported. Elmer George, his lawyer, added Boone has a history of illnesses and called his continued imprisonment life-threatening. There have been nine deaths at Elkton. About 130 inmates and eight prison employees have tested positive. The prison reports 68 inmates and 44 staff members have recovered. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons has so far released only five of the 837 Elkton inmates identified as medically vulnerable to home confinement, a move that drew rebuke from a federal judge in Cleveland this week. The American Civil Liberties Union has also sued the Bureau of Prisons over the issue. Boone, who had called himself “Charles Grass,” fled to Canada after a 2008 indictment on federal drug charges in Kentucky and spent eight years on the loose until his capture in late 2016. He was sentenced in 2018 after pleading guilty to one count of conspiring to possess, grow and distribute more than 1,000 marijuana plants at an operation near Springfield, Kentucky.

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