March 11, 1999 12:00 AM

Having lost a chance to buy Madonna’s South Florida mansion, Rosie O’Donnell has settled for other digs that authorities say once housed a commune for a 70-ton marijuana smuggling ring. O’Donnell just spent $6.75 million for a five-bedroom home on Star Island, which is also home to Gloria and Emilio Estefan and German developer Thomas Kramer. Built in 1923, the estate has a guest cottage, maid’s quarters and pool.

  • This is the same house from which the now defunct Zion Coptic Church ran a massive marijuana trafficking ring in the 1970s. In a 1979 trial, church members showed up in crimson robes and green-and-gold uniforms. Prosecutors contended the colorful church was a cover for a huge smuggling operation and members smoked marijuana as a sacrament.

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