Fugitive Georgia banker suspected in marijuana case

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities suspect a former Georgia
banker who disappeared 18 months ago and who faces allegations he stole
millions from investors was growing marijuana in a home in Florida.
Lee Price, 47, turned up earlier this week when he was arrested during a
traffic stop on Interstate 95, in the coastal Georgia city of
Brunswick. Price vanished in June 2012 and faces federal charges in
Georgia and New York related to accusations he stole millions from the
bank he ran and from investors.
When Price disappeared,
investigators said he sent a rambling confession letter to his family
and acquaintances saying he had lost millions of dollars and planned to
kill himself by jumping from a ferry in Florida.
It’s not clear
exactly what he has been doing for the past 18 months. He has told
authorities he had worked odd jobs and as a migrant worker, and police
now believe he was renting a house in Florida and growing marijuana.
Florida man called authorities Wednesday to report finding marijuana
plants in the garage of a home he rented to a man he knew as Jason,
according to a police report from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office in
Ocala, Fla. Sheriff’s deputies removed 225 marijuana plants, 85 from the
garage and 140 more from a mobile home on the property, the report
Authorities found a variety of identification documents in
the home — including a Social Security card, a passport and Georgia ID —
with Price’s photo but a different name and determined Price was
renting the home, sheriff’s Capt. James Pogue said. The report named
Price as the suspect in the drug investigation, and Pogue said
detectives from Marion County plan to travel to Georgia to interview
It wasn’t clear how long the home had been rented, and the
owner of the home didn’t immediately return a phone call Friday from The
Associated Press.
Price told authorities his family didn’t know
he was still alive and that he had returned to Georgia to renew the tag
on his truck, an FBI spokesman said Wednesday.
He was arrested
Tuesday on Interstate 95 in the coastal city of Brunswick when Glynn
County sheriff’s deputies pulled him over because they believed his
window tinting was too dark, Sheriff E. Neal Jump said. During the
traffic stop, it became clear to deputies that Price was giving them
false information about his identity, Jump said.
Upon further investigation, they determined his true identity and discovered he was wanted by the FBI.

Price vanished, he had short, blondish hair. When he was arrested, his
mug shot showed him with long, dark hair and facial hair.
prosecutors have said Price raised $40 million from his bank and 115
investors, and lost much of the money, and authorities have said they
believe Price disappeared with up to $17 million of investors’ money.
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