The Kentucky man known for running the largest American marijuana ring in history is back on U.S. soil Wednesday. 

John Robert Boone, 73, was on the run for nearly a decade.

Boone is so popular that author James Higdon, who knows Boone personally, wrote a book about him called “The Cornbread Mafia.”

“He takes care of a lot of people,” Higdon said. “People don't feel like he hurt anyone. The only crimes he committed were growing marijuana. For the most part, most people are very much in favor of Johnny Boone.”

Boone ran 30 pot farms across nine states. He took off running when he was found with more than 2,000 marijuana plants on his Kentucky farm. After nearly 10 years on the run, Boone was found in a small town outside Montreal. According to Higdon, an informant alerted the U.S. Marshals, who alerted Canadian Officials, who detained Boone for illegally entering Canada. 

“Johnny got caught in Canada the week before Christmas,” Higdon said.

And on Wednesday morning, Boone was deported back to the United States and picked up by U.S. Marshals. This is his third federal case, and if he's convicted, he could face a life sentence without parole, according to Higdon.

The U.S. Marshal Service tells WDRB Boone was taken to Vermont and will be brought back to Kentucky in the next week. Boone is now awaiting an appearance in federal court.

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