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Law enforcement uncovers three more illegal marijuana growing operations in central Maine

Somerset County Sheriff
Marijuana plants at an indoor grow operation.

Law enforcement Thursday uncovered three illegal marijuana growing operations in central Maine, the latest in a string of similar busts that federal officials say could be linked to organized crime.

The Somerset County Sheriff's Office executed a search warrant Thursday morning at a property in the town of Solon. Deputies found more than a 1,000 marijuana plants and more than 100 pounds of processed cannabis.

The Sheriff's Office said no one was home at the time, and no arrests have been made yet.

It was the 19th illegal marijuana growing operation uncovered in Somerset County since January, according to the Sheriff's Office, resulting in 11 arrests.

Also on Thursday, Kennebec County Sheriff's Office uncovered two more illegal marijuana growing operations. At a property in Manchester, officers seized more than 1,000 marijuana plants. At another site in Farmingdale, officers found evidence that a large cannabis harvest had recently taken place.

Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, and the Maine Office of Cannabis Policy assisted with the investigation, according to the Kennebec County Sheriff's Office.

And Friday in York County, law enforcement found more than 2,500 marijuana plants being illegally grown at a residence in Parsonsfield.

The U.S. Attorney's office said there are an estimated 100 illegal growing operations in Maine, which could be linked to organized crime, potentially with ties to China.

Illegal growing operations have been concentrated in central Maine, but have also been discovered as far east as Machias.

Updated: June 7, 2024 at 2:06 PM EDT
This story was updated to include the Kennebec County busts.