November 19, 2018
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Fourth man arrested for alleged role 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. A fourth man, Andrew Waite of Turner, has been charged in connection with the raid, which state and federal law enforcement officers coordinated in 20 locations.

A fourth man has been charged in connection with a marijuana trafficking ring that federal authorities claim sold hundreds of pounds of pot in an operation based in the Lewiston-Auburn area.

Andrew Waite, 29, of Turner was indicted on federal drug trafficking and illegal firearms charges for his alleged role in the conspiracy, after agents found guns, a Ferrari and at least 100 pounds of pot during a February raid, according to a criminal complaint filed in Portland federal court.

[Feds seize 110 lbs of pot during raids of alleged Maine trafficking ring]

His Nezinscot Drive home was one of several properties raided in February, when federal agents executed 20 search warrants in the Lewiston-Auburn area during an operation to bust a ring of dealers who allegedly used Maine’s Medical Marijuana program as a cover to illegally grow and sell the drug outside of Maine, according to the complaint. Three other men have been arrested.

During the Feb. 28 raid on Waite’s home, agents found seven boxes what they believed was marijuana, totaling an estimated 100 pounds of the drug, DEA agent Michael Gagnon wrote in the complaint. They also found a large safe in a basement office that contained more than $150,000 of suspected drug money that had been stacked into smaller $5,000 increments.

[Maine businesses have financial ties to alleged marijuana trafficker]

The raid also uncovered a sports car and guns that Waite allegedly paid for with drug money or used for self-protection while he was involved in the drug trafficking and money-laundering conspiracy, Gagnon wrote. Agents seized two pistols, a silencer without a serial number, a drum magazine, ammunition from rooms inside his house and a dark blue Ferrari from the garage.

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

Waite was expected to appear in court in Portland Tuesday afternoon. He is facing crimes that carry penalties of between five years and life in prison, and fines of up to $250,000, according to the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Portland.

He was arrested in mid-July in North Carolina, prosecutors say.

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