A Lewiston man was sentenced to six years in federal prison Tuesday for his role in a large-scale marijuana growing and distribution ring dating back to 2015.
Richard Daniels was sentenced to six years with five years of supervised release by U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal, according to acting U.S. Attorney Donald E. Clark. He was also fined $2,500.
Between 2015 and February 2018, Daniels was a member of an organization that grew marijuana at several Androscoggin County locations and distributed it in bulk under the guise of Maine’s medical marijuana program, Clark said Tuesday. Customers, some of whom were out of state, were not members of the program.
“Daniels was an active participant in the conspiracy’s daily operations and personally supplied bulk quantities of marijuana to the conspiracy’s customers,” he said.
On Feb. 27, 2018, officers searched Daniels home and an adjacent garage, Clark said. Agents seized approximately 262 pounds of marijuana, 27 sheets of marijuana concentrate and equipment used to manufacture marijuana concentrate.
In October 2018, 14 people from Maine, Massachusetts and Vermont were charged for their alleged roles in the drug ring. The charges stemmed from February raids on 20 apartments in Lewiston and Auburn, during which agents seized more than 650 pounds of marketable marijuana, cannabis concentrate, jars of butane hash oil, guns and cars, including a $190,000 Lamborghini.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division.