Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 11th, 2008
When lifelong Fortean, Eastern puma and Sasquatch researcher, and recent cancer sufferer Bob Chance was first arrested, the media highlighted Bob as a “Bigfooter.”
Perhaps in a nod to the civic-minded background of Bob’s life and the holiday season, the mainstream newspaper The Baltimore Sun is now calling him the ecologically-minded “Santa Bob.”
A 62-year-old ecologist, Christmas-tree merchant and former Bel Air town commissioner pleaded guilty today [December 10, 2008] in Baltimore County Circuit Court to growing marijuana and possessing psychedelic mushrooms on his 7-acre Harford County farm.
Robert C. Chance, who children buying Christmas trees know as “Santa Bob,” was arrested in May  during a raid on his farm, where detectives and investigators from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration found 19 marijuana plants growing, more than a pound and a half of packaged marijuana in freezers, and about 33 grams of hallucinogenic mushrooms.
Chance had been charged with five counts, including possession with intent to distribute marijuana. Under an arrangement with prosecutors, he was able to plead guilty to two of the lesser charges in exchange for a recommendation that he serve no more than six months in prison.
Had he been convicted of all five charges, Chance faced a maximum of 20 years in prison.
This morning, Judge John G. Turnbull II — to whose courtroom in Towson the case was transferred after Harford County judges recused themselves because they are acquainted with the defendant — agreed that he would give Chance no more than six months in jail, but postponed sentencing until March 9 so that he can consider a pre-sentencing report.
Standing before the judge in a trim goatee, reading glasses and black blazer, Chance firmly answered, “Yes, sir,” to a series of questions from Turnbull as to whether he understood, among other things, that he was waiving his right to a trial by jury. Asked what his level of education was, Chance replied, “Two master’s degrees.”
“So you understand the English language,” the judge responded.
“‘Santa Bob’ pleads guilty in marijuana case,” by Nick Madigan, Baltimore Sun, December 10, 2008
I certainly hope the judge takes into account Bob’s good life, his cancer, and his friends’ appeals. Perhaps, in the end, he will get probation instead of six months?
Bob Chance routinely delivers his free lectures to schools, conservation groups, and the elderly about ecology, historical animal reports, and cryptid sightings in Maryland.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.