Maine deputies, officer, prosecutor among 13 charged in illegal marijuana distribution conspiracy

Published: Oct. 28, 2021 at 10:07 AM EDT
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FARMINGTON, Maine (WMTW) - Thirteen people, including law enforcement officers and elected officials, are facing federal charges connected to an alleged marijuana distribution and money laundering operation in Maine.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the alleged drug conspiracy brought in more than $13 million dollars over six years of illegal bulk sales of marijuana.

Randal Cousineau of Farmington pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiracy to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms (2,200 pounds) of cannabis and 1,000 marijuana plants. Prosecutors called Cousineau the “primary financier” of an illegal marijuana cultivation facility in Farmington.

He faces up to life in prison and a $10 million fine.

According to prosecutors, members of the operation grew and sold marijuana to customers outside of Maine’s legalized medical cannabis caregiver system, including to buyers out of state.

Twelve other people have been indicted as members of the alleged conspiracy.

Lucas Sirois is facing six charges, including conspiracy to distribute drugs, money laundering and bank fraud.

According to investigators, Sirois was “the leader of the criminal organization,” structuring the operation to appear as if it was complying with the state’s medical cannabis laws while allegedly selling large amounts of the drug on the illicit market.

According to investigators, Sirois bribed Franklin County Sheriffs Deputies Bradley Scovil and Derrick Doucette to provide confidential information about the ongoing federal probe into the conspiracy.

Both former deputies are facing charges for bank fraud conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols said both deputies resigned from their jobs in the department in fall of 2019. Nichols said his office was made aware of the investigation in the summer of 2020 and fully cooperated with federal authorities.

Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Kayla Alves is accused of tipping off Scovil about the investigation.

Alves is charged with tampering with tampering with proceedings and tampering with documents.

Prosecutors said Alves was told the deputies were being watched by federal authorities by Wilton police officer Kevin Lemay and then-Oxford County deputy James McLamb. All three officials are accused of destroying electronic evidence of their illegal communication with Scovil and Doucette to cover up their rolls.

Lemay and McLamb have been charged with tampering with documents. McLamb is also charged with conspiracy to commit honest services fraud.

According to prosecutors, Rangeley Selectman David Burgess allegedly took tens of thousands of dollars in cash payments from Siros in exchange for pushing an agenda favorable to his marijuana operation. Investigators said Sirois paid the local selectman thousands of dollars each week to manage his marijuana business.

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