Pit Bulls, Pot Plants Found at Home of Fugitive Banker Aubrey Lee Price

| by Denise A Justin

Aubrey Lee Price, 47, the runaway banker and investor from South Georgia who was the subject of a federal manhunt for a $21 million wire-fraud scheme, may now face serious drug charges in Ocala, Florida.

Price had left a suicide note for family members in 2012 saying he planned to jump off a ferry in Key West.

"My depression and discouragement have driven me to deep anxiety, fear and shame. I am emotionally overwhelmed and incapable of continuing in this life," his letter said. "I created false statements, covered up my losses and deceived and hurt the very people I was trying to help.”

There were indicators that Price had taken the steps to end his life, and a Florida judge ruled him legally dead. But at some point Price either changed his mind about suicide, or possibly had never intended to end his life.

It is believed he kept up to $17 million of the $40 million he raised from investors before disappearing.

On Tuesday, Aubrey Lee Price was caught in a traffic stop near Brunswick for excessively tinted windows, and he was immediately recognized by Georgia police. He is now in federal custody in the Savannah area and is scheduled to appear before a federal judge within a few months, WALB reports.

Ocala Police were asked by the owner of the house Price rents to conduct a search of the property. They found at least two Pit Bulls and what appears to be a thriving marijuana-growing operation.

Officers report they removed 225 marijuana plants from the property and Animal Control took the Pit Bulls.

Ocala Police Report

On January 01, 2014, writer responded to 16535 N.E. Jacksonville Road, in reference to possible marijuana grow house. Upon arrival, writer spoke to Deputy Jones, who briefed writer on the incident. Deputy Jones stated she responded to the residence at the request of the owner/reportee Richard Lee Snipes.

The reportee stated he had returned from out of the area and stopped by to check the property he rents to suspect Aubrey Lee Price. The reportee stated the suspect also uses the name "Jason". The reportee stated he observed several marijuana plants growing in the garage and also observed two pit bull type dogs on the property.

Writer observed a single wide mobile home on the property and a detached garage. An air conditioning unit was on the north side of the garage. There was an opening next to the air conditioning unit, which writer could see into the garage area.

Writer observed several tall green plants believed to be marijuana. Writer also observed several bright lights throughout the room, where the plants were located. Animal control responded to the location and removed one pit bull type dog. Drug unit sergeant McClain, responded and assessed the incident.

Sergeant McClain instructed writer to stand by, as a search warrant would have to be obtained for further action. Writer secured the location until this task was completed. The warrant was obtained and sergeant McClain returned with additional agents.

Evidence technician Peavy, also responded to the scene. Evidence was collected and processed by both respectively.

Writer noted that 225 marijuana plants were removed from the property, 140 plants were removed from the mobile home, and 85 plants were removed from the garage area. Sector sergeant and watch commander notified.

Sources: WALB, OV