HAMPDEN, Maine — Law enforcement officials from Hampden and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency have charged four people in connection with two marijuana cultivation operations in recent weeks, Hampden police Sgt. Chris Bailey said Friday night.
The investigations into both operations were led by Hampden police Officers Marc Egan and Ben Eyles, who were assisted by MDEA personnel, Bailey said.
“They conducted a great investigation, from the surveillance right down to the search warrants. The more drugs you can get off the streets, the safer your community is,” Bailey said.
The first growing operation, located in a wooded area off Main Trail, was discovered in mid-September during a search for a missing hunter by the Maine Warden Service, Bailey said. Authorities found five “well-cultivated, mature plants” and placed them under surveillance, he said.
As a result, Samuel McNutt, 20, who now lives in Bar Harbor but has ties to the Hampden area, was charged on Sept. 23 with marijuana cultivation, Bailey said.
Bailey said police were led to the second operation, located in a wooded area off Meadow Road, through a tip. He said police placed several plants there under surveillance and gathered information enabling them to obtain search warrants for two Meadow Road residences.
The search warrants were executed on Sept. 28 at the homes of Matthew LaChance, 27, and his brother Lucas LaChance, 32, Bailey said.
At Matthew LaChance’s home, police seized several plants growing inside and outside behind the house in buckets as well as drug paraphernalia and more than a pound of processed marijuana, Bailey said, adding that the street value of the marijuana was about $3,000 a pound.
Also seized were a 2002 GMC pickup truck, one handgun, four rifles and two shotguns.
Drug paraphernalia and a usable amount of marijuana were seized from Lucas LaChance’s home, Bailey said.
The two brothers, as well 26-year-old Benjamin Boulier, who lives at Matthew LaChance’s home, each were charged with marijuana cultivation, marijuana trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Bailey said that additional drug charges are pending for a 25-year-old woman who was visiting one of the LaChances when the search warrants were being executed. Her name was not released on Friday.
Bailey said that all four of the people charged so far are scheduled to make court appearances at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Nov. 18.