December 19, 2017, John Robert Boone, “Johnny Boone”, plead guilty to possession of more than 1000 marijuana plants, and to trafficking in Washington County Kentucky. He was known as the “Godfather of Grass” and the leader of the “Cornbread Mafia” in Marion County Kentucky.
He had previously fled to Canada for a number of years after having a grow operation spotted by the KSP near Springfield Kentucky in 2008 where he remained a fugitive until his arrest in 2016 when he was deported from Canada back to Kentucky.
On April 11th I received the first email from Johnny Boone’s niece regarding the conditions that her Uncle was living in while being incarcerated at the Elkton Federal Prison, located in Lisbon, Ohio.
He was due to be transferred to a “Half-Way” house on April 15th, but COVID-19 came into the picture and his release was postponed. He is 76 years old and in in a setting that could cause him to lose his life to this horrid virus.
His family is pleading for his release, and have done everything they can to attain it. They are asking for our help! He could very well lose his life in this prison because of this Virus, and nobody seems to be acting fast enough to take care of the emergent situation, in regards to prisoner’s. He is not the only one! There are many more all over the Country and each State’s Citizen’s should inform their Governor’s that this is not acceptable!
If you remove the non-violent offenders from the system there will be much more room for the ones who do need to be contained, and there will be better medical care afforded to them – hopefully.
“We’re not criminals, we’re not,” he said. “We’re not the kind of people who go out and harm people.”
On April 8, the National Guard arrived at Elkton Federal Prison in Columbiana County to assist the medical staff when a large number of prisoners became ill with the virus. On April 18, the National Guard and Highway Patrol arrived at the state prison in Marion county to assist with “mission critical functions” after infections of correctional workers and prisoners. By April 19, over 1800 prisoners at Marion Correctional Institution, approximately 3/4ths of the population, plus 100 staff had tested positive. Overall, the prison system had almost 2500 cases by April 19, representing almost a fifth of Ohio’s cases.
How Johnny Boone ended up in an Ohio Correctional Facility, instead of a Kentucky Facility is not known. But regardless of that fact, he should have been transferred back to Kentucky, at the very least, when this outbreak began. Now it seems that he is stuck in there with no recourse as the Virus continues to reek havoc on the prison industrial complex overall.
Why has Governor Beshear let this happen? Although I understand the way that we were hit with this “attack” of the Virus it would have to be hard to manage it, but these people who are incarcerated are supposed to be properly cared for by the “System”.
Even the most chronic or hardened inmates have basic rights that are protected by the U.S. Constitution. If you are facing incarceration, or if you have a family member or friend who is in prison or jail, you should know about inmates’ rights.
Considering Johnny Boone’s age and medical status, he should have been released early on. There is absolutely no reason to keep this man incarcerated.
Since Barr’s memorandum on April 3 directing Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal to consider measures to move minimum security inmates out of prison, few inmates have actually been released with the exception of those who were already planned for release.
With the following information in mind, I am urging everyone to send a memo to Gov. Beshear to request that he step in and make a decision to have Johnny Boone removed from Elkton Correctional Institute immediately and brought back home to Kentucky!
On April 13, 2020, inmates at Elkton Federal Correctional Institution, brought an emergency court action seeking release from Elkton due to the spread of COVID-19 within the prison (Reference United States District Court Northern District of Ohio, Craig Wilson, et v Mark Williams, et al, Case: 4:20-cv-00794). The action sought the release of some inmates from prison to Home Confinement or by Furlough, particularly those who were old or had an underlying conditions consistent with the guidelines provided by the Center for Decision Control. Noted in the lawsuit was the “dorm-style” design of most minimum and low prisons where inmates live in close proximity to one another.
Please do not let either Johnny Boone or any other Inmates suffer and die needlessly in such condition!
This is the Government’s responsibility to keep these people safe from harm as they serve their time. There is no reason to keep a non-violent offender in a prison system in these conditions!
Please take this into consideration and free Johnny Boone to his family!
Governor Andy Beshear
700 Capitol Avenue, Suite 100
Frankfort, Kentucky 40601
Main Line: (502) 564-2611
Fax: (502) 564-2517