Police aided illegal marijuana operation in Maine, feds say | News

Two sheriff’s deputies accepted new cars and an ownership stake in an operation that illegally sold more than $13 million in pot grown for the state’s medical marijuana program, federal prosecutors said.

Two other law enforcement officers and a prosecutor aided the operation by providing intelligence and tipping off participants, prosecutors said.

Federal documents unsealed Wednesday when one of the defendants pleaded guilty revealed an elaborate program in which marijuana that was supposedly grown for registered caregivers was sold outside the program with profits being laundered through a corporate structure.

A dozen people were charged in the 14-count complaint, including a Rangeley select board member, an assistant district attorney, two Franklin County sheriff’s deputies, an Oxford County sheriff’s deputy and a Wilton police officer.

The Franklin County deputies accepted ownership interests and cars in exchange for confidential information, according to the complaint. The prosecutor allegedly tipped off a corrupt police officer about the investigation, and two other officers allegedly warned the Franklin County deputies they were under surveillance, the complaint said.

Randal Cousineau, 69, of Farmington, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to illegally cultivate and sell more than a ton of marijuana and more than 1,000 marijuana plants, according to the documents.

While Cousineau had a 50% stake in the business, the leader of the operation was allegedly Lucas Sirois, 41, of Farmington, prosecutors said.

Sirois and his tax preparer filed false income tax returns to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, prosecutors said.

As part of the scheme, a Rangeley select board member was paid tens of thousands of dollars to advance a marijuana ordinance that Sirois himself had drafted to a town referendum, prosecutors said.

Walt McKee, an attorney who represents Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Kayla Alves, said she was innocent and that it was “disappointing to see her dragged into all of this.” And an attorney for the accountant denied the allegations, as well.

Attorneys for the other defendants didn’t immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.

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