Florida Woman Who Burned Down Fifth Oldest Tree In World While High On Meth Arrested Again On Drug Charge

"I can't believe I burned down a tree older than Jesus,” Sara Barnes said after she burned down a 3,500-year-old tree donated to a Florida park by President Calvin Coolidge.

By Gina Tron
Sara Barnes Pd

A Florida woman notoriously known for burning down a tree once considered the fifth oldest in the world while high on meth has now been arrested again on meth-related charges.

Sara Barnes, 33, was arrested on Friday after authorities executing a search warrant allegedly found methamphetamine crammed in a red plastic container stashed inside a washing machine at her Altamonte Springs home, according to an arrest report obtained by Oxygen.com

Investigators say 22 grams of meth were found in the appliance, and another 16 grams were found inside a plastic drawer in her garage, which had been converted into a bedroom. The suspected meth, 38 grams in total, "was field-tested and both tests yielded positive for methamphetamine," according to the arrest report from the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.

Because of the amount of meth allegedly found, Barnes now faces a meth trafficking charge, according to online jail records. She’s being held on a $25,000 bond.

She’s no stranger to the legal system. 

Barnes infamously burned down a 3,500-year old tree in Florida back in 2012. The tree, named “The Senator” used to stand tall in Big Tree Park in Longwood. It was the oldest bald cypress tree in the state, according to the park. Donated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1929, it became the park’s main attraction. It was also the fifth oldest known tree in the world, according to Newsweek. That is, until it met its demise, initially thought to be caused by a lightning strike, the Huffington Post reported.

It wasn’t a storm, though. It was Barnes. She had crawled inside the hollow historic tree, high on meth, along with a buddy. She lit a fire so they could see better, WKMG reported. It didn’t end well. The flames spread and the 120-foot tree collapsed.

She took pictures of the historic burning tree and later showed those pictures to others, exclaiming, "I can't believe I burned down a tree older than Jesus,” WFTV in Orlando reports.

As a result, Barnes was found guilty of unlawful burning of lands, possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Initially sentenced to 30 months behind bars, a judge suspended the sentence on the condition that she complete five years of probation, according to KUTV.

Since then, Barnes was arrested five more times, not including Friday's arrest. She has been booked on charges ranging from DUI to aggravated assault to drug possession.

It’s not clear if Barnes has a lawyer who can speak on her behalf at this time.

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