BROOKS, Maine — Waldo County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man Friday suspected of cultivating 129 marijuana plants found on a patch of land in the woods in July.
Police learned about the growing operation after they received an anonymous tip in July, according to Chief Deputy Jeff Trafton of the sheriff’s office. Deputies went to the land and found the plants, then talked to a neighbor who told them who owned the land. The landowner, a Swanville man, gave police permission to install a camera to try and catch the person growing the marijuana on his property, Trafton said Monday.
That person also evidently cut trees without the landowner’s permission, in order to let in more light, and a garden hose ran through the woods in the direction of Kerston Lane’s residence, Trafton said. Lane, 37, has a history with police in Waldo County, according to the chief deputy, and he is not licensed to be a medical marijuana provider.
After setting up the camera and reviewing the video, police recognized Lane as the person tending to the marijuana crop, Trafton said. On July 7, after obtaining a warrant to search Lane’s home, police found more plants behind Lane’s trailer and evidence of a growing operation inside, the chief deputy said.
“That’s somebody who was clearly growing it to sell illegally,” Trafton said.
The police seized a total of 144 marijuana plants from Lane’s home and from the cultivation site in the woods, but Trafton said there are too many variables, such as size of the plants, to estimate the crop’s street value.
Lane was not home at the time of the search, and police received information he went into hiding, according to the deputy chief.
About a month later, however, Lane resurfaced at his mother’s home in Brooks, which is where officers found him, Trafton said. He was charged Friday, Aug. 8, with aggravated cultivation of marijuana and was taken to Waldo County Jail in Belfast to be booked.
He remained in police custody Monday while awaiting arraignment.