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Feds charge 13 in alleged Maine marijuana conspiracy, including cops, prosecutor and selectman

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Sawyer Loftus
/
BDN
Lucas Sirois exits the Margaret Chase Smith Federal Building in Bangor after his first court appearance on charges related to an alleged conspiracy to use medical marijuana grow houses in western Maine to illegally sell $13 million of the drug in and out of Maine.

Federal prosecutors say that they have charged 13 people in connection with a conspiracy to sell illicit marijuana under the guise of the Maine's medical marijuana program.

Among those charged is a Farmington man who allegedly led the operation. Several law enforcement officials, a former selectman from the town of Rangeley, and an assistant district attorney are also implicated.

The alleged ring leader of the conspiracy was Lucas Sirois, 41, of Farmington.

Prosecutors say that he used his medical marijuana business to sell $13 million worth of illegal pot over six years, including more than $1 million worth's out-of-state. They also accuse him of tax evasion and conspiring to commit money laundering and bank fraud, among other charges.

An attorney for Sirois, Timothy Parlatore of New York, says that he followed Maine laws and that he will plead not guilty to the charges. He made his initial appearance in federal court in Bangor on Thursday.

“This case is absolutely one where the [U.S. Department of Justice] has overstepped in interfering with the regulations of the state of Maine," Parlatore says.

A few others have been charged for participating in the cultivation and distribution of marijuana.

One of them, 69-year-old Randal Cousineau of Farmington, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to conspiring to possess and distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and 1,000 marijuana plants, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee.

Federal prosecutors declined a request for an interview about the case on Thursday.

In court documents and public statements, they say that the conspiracy was aided by a range of local and law enforcement officials.

A former Rangeley selectman, David Burgess, allegedly accepted money in exchange for helping to advance a marijuana ordinance drafted by Sirois. Burgess' attorney didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Federal prosecutors also accuse some law enforcement officials of aiding Sirois' business or interfering with the investigation.

They include several police officers, and Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Kayla Alves. Alves has been charged with tampering with documents and tampering with proceedings.

Franklin County District Attorney says in a statement that Alves has been removed from her duties and that he "is extremely concerned" about the charges.

Alves' attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta, says that she did not commit any crimes and "received all of nothing for the non-criminal things she did here."

Two former Franklin County deputy sheriff's, Bradley Scovil and Derrick Doucette, are accused of obtaining confidential police records for Sirois to use in his business, in exchange for Sirois giving them an ownership interest in his business and brand new company cars.

Prosecutors allege that Kevin Lemay, a Wilton police officer, and James McLamb, a former Oxford County deputy sheriff, used government databases to confirm that the Scovil and Doucette were being surveilled. Alves, Lemay and McLamb also allegedly destroyed electronic records to conceal their work with Scovil and Doucette.

Attorneys for Scovil, Doucette and Lemay didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.

Michael Turndorf, a Portland attorney representing McLamb — who is now the town manager of Dixfield, according to the Bangor Daily News — did not say how his client would plead to the charges.

But Turndorf said that it's "extremely early in the process" and that McLamb "should not be judged based on a single-sided allegation."