Smell of Pot at Church Leads Cops to Alleged Robber

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Atlanta Police said officers literally followed their noses to a violent robber, and tell FOX 5 exclusively, the strong smell of marijuana at a church led them right to him.

"It's rather egregious to be smoking marijuana on a church parking lot where we hold our mobile role calls," said Lt. J.D. Patterson of the A.P.E.X. Unit, which has held mobile role calls around the Midtown area to crack down on violent robberies.

Friday night, Patterson said officers smelled marijuana by Grace United Methodist Church around 10 p.m.; officers followed the smell and said they found suspect Robert Rodrickus Marks, 37, smoking marijuana behind the church.

Patterson said officers chased the suspect and arrested him, and found him in possession of a gun.

Investigators learned he was already wanted for armed robbery in the Midtown area, and had been arrested 39 times for violent crimes and other offenses.

"Turns out-- he's one of our notorious violent offenders," Patterson said.

Patterson said Marks could be federally prosecuted under the Violent Repeat Offender Program, due to his significant number of violent offenses and arrests.