March 17, 2018
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Third man arrested after feds seize 650 pounds of pot

Andree Kehn | AP
Andree Kehn | AP
File photo of law enforcement officers piling 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.
By Jake Bleiberg, BDN Staff

A third man has been charged for his alleged role in a drug trafficking ring that prosecutors say has been distributing hundreds of pounds of marijuana out of the Lewiston-Auburn area.

Tyler Poland, 31, was arrested Monday and charged with possessing and intending to distribute more than 600 marijuana plants, hundreds more pounds of processed marijuana and more than a kilogram of Ecstasy pills, according to complaint filed in a Portland federal court.

Poland’s Auburn home was among the properties searched in late February during a federal drug bust that has led to three arrests and, according to law enforcement, disrupted an operation that was growing large quantities of pot under the cover of Maine’s Medical Marijuana program and illegally selling it across state lines.

Including the 366 pounds of processed pot seized from Poland, court records so far show that more than 650 pounds of marketable marijuana were seized in the raid. Federal and state law enforcement also confiscated pounds of glass-like cannabis concentrate, jars of butane hash oil, guns and two cars, including a $190,000 Lamborghini, from the two other men arrested, according to court records.

Along with his home, the court complaint states that U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents searched two warehouses used by a company registered to Poland, TY Construction.

At one of the warehouses, the agents allegedly found a bag of hundreds of pink pills stowed inside a small desk and a second bag containing hundreds of white pills hidden behind another desk. The pink pills tested positive as Ecstasy and the white ones are believed to be Xanax, the complaint states.

The court record also says that agents found $140,000 in an office safe and another $16,000 around the warehouses.

If convicted, Poland could face up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in court Monday afternoon.

The drug bust 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.

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