ELLSWORTH, Maine — An Amherst man will serve four months behind bars for stealing marijuana plants worth a total value of more than $12,000 from two local licensed medicinal marijuana growers.
Aaron R. Pert, 33, also has to pay back $8,900 to the men whose medicinal marijuana he stole, according to court documents filed in Hancock County Superior Court.
Pert pleaded no contest on Sept. 6 to two charges each of burglary and theft in connection with the Oct. 11, 2012, incident in Ellsworth. He received an overall sentence of three and a half years on each conviction, which he will serve concurrently, with all but four months suspended. He also was ordered to serve two years of probation upon his release.
Pert came to the attention of Ellsworth police the night before the burglary was reported after a Jeep he was riding in ran a stop sign on Route 1A and police pulled it over. Pert, a passenger in the Jeep, was arrested on a charge of possession of a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle and summoned on a charge of marijuana possession.
Police said that, at the time, they noted that the relatively small amount of marijuana that Pert had with him during the traffic stop appeared to have been freshly harvested. Later that morning, a local licensed medical marijuana grower contacted police to report that someone had entered two buildings on his property and had taken 17 plants with an estimated total value of $12,800.
Police later went to a Trenton motel to question Pert, who eventually told them he had taken the plants and stashed them in the woods in northern Ellsworth, Page said. Police have declined to say specifically where the plants were being cultivated or where the stolen plants were found.
One of the two licensed growers who owned the plants later told the Bangor Daily News that he was able to get them back from police a few days later, but not before most of them were ruined by mold.
Pert also pleaded no contest on Sept. 6 in the same court to an unrelated charge of receiving stolen property for being in possession of a flatscreen television that had been stolen from a Sullivan business on June 11, 2012. He received a 30-day sentence for that conviction that he will serve concurrently with his other sentences.