FARMINGTON – Lawyer for local man accused of being a leader in an illegal marijuana cultivation and distribution and money laundering operation said there was no question that his client was running a distribution business of legally licensed cannabis.
“One of the main issues in this case is the tension between federal law and the laws of the state of Maine,” New York attorney Timothy Parlatore, who represents accused Lucas Sirois, 41, said Thursday. , from Farmington. “We intend to seek an injunction based on the Rohrabacher Farr Amendment and Federal Appropriation Bills.”
It has been the law since 2014.
âAlthough marijuana is illegal at the federal level, Congress has prohibited the Department of Justice from spending funds interfering with the implementation of a state’s medical marijuana law. So because of that, we will seek an injunction to sue Luke for his actions under Maine law, âParlatore said.
Sirois is one of 12 defendants indicted in connection with an illegal marijuana cultivation and distribution operation, some of them implicated in a drug money laundering scheme in the Franklin County area. . He and five others first appeared on Thursday before Judge John Nivison of the Bangor U.S. District Court.
Sirois is on a guaranteed bond of $ 500,000. If he does not appear in court in the future, he has agreed to confiscate the vehicles listed in a preliminary services report not available to the public, according to federal court documents.
He and his alleged co-conspirators are accused of making “more than $ 13 million over a six-year period from the illicit sale of marijuana,” according to a statement from the US attorney’s office.
Federal Court rules allow 30 days from the issuance of a subpoena for a case to be considered for indictment by a federal grand jury, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Joyce said.
Sirois is said to have “structured his operations to appear to comply with Maine’s medical marijuana regime as he routinely sold bulk marijuana on the illicit market, including over one million dollars. out-of-state marijuana dollars. distribution between 2019 and 2019 through co-defendant Brandon Dagnese, 27, of Scarborough, a convicted felon who does not have the right to hold a care card in Maine, âaccording to a statement from the US attorney’s office.
Former Rangeley Selectman David Burgess of Rangeley, Wilton Police Officer Kevin Lemay, 33, of Farmington, former Oxford County MP James McLamb, 29, Auburn, and former MPs for Franklin County Bradley Scovil, 33, Rangeley and Derrick Doucette, 29, Jay, all appeared in court on Thursday. They are on personal bond.
Sirois’ father Robert Sirois, 68, of Farmington, wife of Lucas Sirois, Alisa Sirois, 43, of Kingfield, Ryan Nezol, 38, of Farmington, Kenneth Allen, 48, of Farmington, Dagnese and Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Kayla Alves, 36, of Farmington is scheduled to appear in federal court in Bangor on Friday.
The three Siroises, Burgess, Scovil, Doucette, Dagnese and Nezol are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intention of distributing controlled substances. Burgess, Lucas Sirois and Alisa Sirois are also charged with conspiracy to commit the offenses of money laundering and bank fraud. Lucas Sirois and Burgess are charged with conspiracy to commit honest service fraud. Lucas Sirois is charged with a second count of conspiracy to commit honest service fraud and Scovil, Doucette and McLamb are charged with one count. Lucas Sirois, Scovil, Doucette and Burgess are also accused of bank fraud. Alves is charged with falsifying process and falsifying documents. Lemay and McLamb are charged with falsifying documents. Lucas Sirois, Burgess and Allen are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and to obstruct and harm. Lucas Sirois is also charged with tax evasion and Allen is charged with tax evasion.
Randal Cousineau, 69, of Farmington waived the indictment and pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to conspiring to possess and distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and 1,000 plants. The statement claims he was the primary financier and 50% partner with a co-conspirator at an illegal marijuana cultivation facility in Farmington. He also had a stake in an illegal marijuana distribution company, according to the US attorney’s office.
He faces life imprisonment and a fine of $ 10 million. Upon conviction of the offense, he must relinquish all real property and assets held through Sandy River Properties LLC, including real property and all fixtures and fittings located at 374 High St. in Farmington, all real estate and assets held through Lakemont. LLC, all funds on deposit totaling $ 407,530.56 held on behalf of Lakemont, Narrow Gauge Distributors Inc. and Sandy River Properties at Franklin-Somerset Federal Credit Union in Farmington.
Lucas Sirois and Cousineau both signed the application as owners of the Narrow Gauge Distributors building for a marijuana business in Farmington. Lucas Sirois and Cousineau are members of Lakemont LLC, according to information about an application from a company that grows and manufactures marijuana for adult use.
Scovil and Doucette are accused of having obtained confidential information from the police for Lucas Sirois that he would have used to “benefit his illegal business”. In return, Sirois allegedly “rewarded Scovil and Doucette with ownership interests in his business and brand new ‘company’ cars,” and used the former MPs’ network of active law enforcement agents to secure information about the ongoing federal investigation into his criminal activity, according to the US attorney’s office.
The two MPs left the Franklin County Sheriff‘s Office in the fall of 2019, Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. wrote in an email Thursday. He only became aware of the investigation in the summer of 2020.
Alves’ attorney, Walter McKee of McKee Law in Augusta, defended his client in an email.
âKayla did not commit any crime. It’s disappointing to see her drawn into all of this. She received nothing for the non-criminal things she did here. She is a respected prosecutor, a veteran of the US military who deployed to Iraq and enrolled in college and law school with three children. She really is an amazing person. Let me tell you, it won’t be a small fight, âMcKee wrote in an email Thursday.
According to an announcement by District Attorney Andrew Robinson, he has taken steps to remove her from her post.
Alves allegedly “informed Scovil of the existence of the Sirois inquiry, after Wilton police officer Kevin Lemay and then Oxford County MP James McLamb used government databases to confirm” for Scovil and Doucette that they were under police surveillance, according to the release of the federal prosecutor.
Lemay, whose lawyer was not available for comment, is on administrative leave pending the investigation, Wilton Police Chief Heidi Wilcox said in an email on Thursday.
Augusta’s lawyer Ronald Bourget, who represents Alisa Sirois, said Congress must resolve the conflict between state and federal marijuana laws.
Allen is accused by federal prosecutors of filing false tax returns for Lucas Sirois.
The United States Attorney General’s Office is “trying to enforce a 10-year mandatory minimum federal criminal law under the Controlled Substances Act on possession and distribution of marijuana despite the changing legal landscape.” This circumstance calls on Congress to remedy this injustice. This case calls for a less archaic approach to the fight against drugs. The “war on drugs” may still be on, but the white flag on marijuana was raised years ago, “Bourget wrote in an email.
“We have known about this investigation for a very long time,” said Parlatore, who represents Lucas Sirois. They have been in contact with the US attorney’s office.
“We have requested a probable causes hearing for the week of November 15,” he wrote.
The 96-page federal criminal complaint has two different things, he said. There are false statements made by a disgruntled former employee who was fired for committing criminal acts, he said.
The government also selected comments obtained through out-of-context wiretapping, Parlatore said.
“As much as the government wants to betray Luke as having broken the law, the reality is that he was very careful that he and the others obey the laws, âhe said.
Defense attorneys for the other defendants were not immediately available for comment.
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