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14 charged for alleged roles in Lewiston-Auburn pot trafficking ring

Andree Kehn | AP
Andree Kehn | AP
Law enforcement officers pile marijuana plants outside of a warehouse on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 in Lewiston, Maine. State and federal law enforcement officers coordinated in a multi location drug raid on Tuesday morning.

The federal probe into a large-scale marijuana manufacturing and distribution ring that allegedly operated in the Lewiston-Auburn area widened last week when a federal grand jury handed up a 41-count indictment.

The charges stemmed from February raids on 20 properties in Lewiston and Auburn in which more than 650 pounds of marketable marijuana was seized by law enforcement along with cannabis concentrate, jars of butane hash oil, guns and cars, including a $190,000 Lamborghini.

[Fourth man arrested for alleged role in Lewiston-Auburn pot trafficking ring]

The indictment named 14 individuals and seven companies with being involved in what the U.S. attorney’s office has described as an indoor pot growing and selling conspiracy that operated between 2015 and Feb. 27, 2018, and included individuals from Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont.

The indictment alleges that the businesses were used to manufacture and distribute marijuana and to launder money earned in the operation.

In addition to charging individuals and businesses, the indictment seeks the forfeiture of more than five properties, $300,000 in cash, eight watches, two diamond rings, a commercial tractor with a snowblower attachment and assorted gym equipment.

[Third man arrested after feds seize 650 pounds of pot]

The indictment included the following people previously charged or named in court documents as being involved in the drug ring: Richard “Stitch” Daniels, 52, of Auburn; John Valdes, 52, of Amesbury, Massachusetts; Steven Gallucci, 22, of Haverhill, Massachusetts; Brian Bilodeau, 34, of Auburn; and Tyler Poland, 32, of Greene.

Also facing drug charges in the new indictment, which was made public Friday, are: Timmy Bellmore, 42, of Lewiston; Timothy Veilleux, 52, of Auburn; Mark Kilpatrick, 29, of Auburn; Brandon Knutson, 33, of Lewiston; Caleb LaBerge, 23, of Lewiston; Yehudi Pardo, 33, of Boston; and Charles Caliri, 70, of Woodstock, Vermont.

Two other people were charged with lying to federal officials in connection with the investigation — Daniel L. Poland III, 65, of Greene, and Shawna Bielawski, 21, of Sabattus.

Arraignment dates have not been set.

[Maine businesses have financial ties to alleged marijuana trafficker]

Andrew Waite, 30, of Turner was charged in August in a separate indictment for his alleged role in the operation. During the February raid on his home, police seized 100 pounds of marijuana, more than $150,000 of suspected drug proceeds, two pistols, a silencer without a serial number, a drum magazine, ammunition and a dark blue Ferrari from the garage, according to court documents.

Those convicted on the most serious charge of conspiring to manufacture and distribute 100 or more marijuana plants face five to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million.

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