A second man has been arrested in connection with a series of drug raids in which law enforcement seized more than 100 pounds of marijuana at properties in the Lewiston area.
On Wednesday, federal prosecutors charged Brian Bilodeau, 33, with possessing a large quantity of marijuana with the intent to distribute it and of possessing a gun to further drug trafficking.
Bilodeau, an Auburn resident, is part of a marijuana trafficking operation that has been operating in Androscoggin County under the cover of Maine’s Medical Marijuana program, according to a court complaint.
On Tuesday, a battery of federal and state law enforcement agencies executed 20 search warrants at properties around Lewiston and Auburn. They seized bales of pot and arrested another man, Richard Daniels, who was charged with with possessing marijuana and manufacturing hash oil with the intent to distribute them.
The search turned up a room built out of “foundation concrete” and sealed by a “metal vault door” in Bilodeau’s Auburn home, according to an affidavit.
Inside, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents found 183 pounds of what appeared to be marijuana, “distributable quantities” of butane hash oil and a Walther, Model PK .380 caliber pistol, the court document states. The total amount of pot retrieved in the raids is unclear.
Police allegedly turned up other guns around the house including a Beretta BU9 Nano 9 millimeter pistol sitting on the nightstand in the master bedroom with a round loaded in the chamber. Bilodeau informed agents of the loaded weapon, according to the affidavit.
In the garage, police also found a blue Lamborghini Huracan, valued at $190,000, the document states. Bilodeau is alleged to have purchased it from a car dealer in North Miami Beach, Florida with a $95,500 cash down payment.
Police seized the Lamborghini along with a Black 2014 Nissan GTR, valued at $60,000, on the belief that they were the proceeds of drug trafficking or involved in money laundering, the court document states.
Bilodeau made an initial appearance in a federal court in Portland Wednesday afternoon. He could face between 5 years and life in a prison and a $250,000 fine on the gun charge and up to 20 years in prison or a fine of as much $1 million on the drug charge, according to court documents
The two arrests came less than two months after Maine’s top federal prosecutor said his office would focus on prosecuting traffickers of “hard drugs,” not marijuana users. Last year, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions repealed an Obama administration policy that said the federal government would largely not pursue marijuana possession cases.
Follow the Bangor Daily News on Facebook for the latest Maine news.