Lincoln man pleads guilty to growing pot

Posted Sept. 16, 2010, at 12:08 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:32 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Lincoln man waived indictment and pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to growing marijuana and Social Security fraud, according to court documents.

Linwood Libby, 64, will be held without bail pending his sentencing.

A sentencing date has not been set.

A year ago, drug agents and Lincoln Police officers found 12 mature plants and 70 pounds of processed marijuana in a garage owned by Libbey at 303 Frost St. in Lincoln. At his Phinney Farm Road residence, police found $50,000 in cash, 8 pounds of marijuana and several guns, according to court documents.

By pleading guilty, Libby agreed to forfeit $125,000, the amount federal prosecutors said he earned over the more than four years he grew the drug. He also is expected to be ordered to repay nearly $42,000 in disability benefits he received from the Social Security Administration.

In interviews with police, Libby admitted that he had been buying large amounts of marijuana from one supplier for about a decade, according to court documents. He said he had received 160 pounds between January and early September 2009. Libby also told investigators the marijuana found at the garage and house belonged to him.

In addition to living expenses for himself and his wife, Libby used the proceeds from his marijuana sales to pay the operating expenses for a hotel-apartment building he owned at 86–92 West Broadway in Lincoln.

Libby began receiving disability in late 1989 or early 1990. Why he qualified for benefits is not explained in court documents.

If convicted, Libby faces a minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years on the drug charge and a fine of up to $2 million. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the drug charge.

In his plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Libby waived his right to appeal his sentence to the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston as long as it is less than five years.

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