A Boston firefighter was convicted of cultivating marijuana in Maine and sentenced Thursday to eight months in federal prison.
Sean Berte, 32, appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland. He also was sentenced by Judge George Z. Singal to three years of supervised release for his role in cultivating more than 100 pot plants, according to the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine. Berte pleaded guilty in February.
Local police and federal drug agents searched a Bridgton home last year and discovered more than 100 plants and some harvested marijuana. Agents recovered supplies such as grow lights, timers, a submersible pump, an exhaust vent and various agricultural products.
At that time, Berte was working as a firefighter at the Boston Fire Department. He resigned shortly afterward.
At his sentencing, Berte admitted smoking about two ounces of marijuana weekly during the eight years he worked as a Boston firefighter.
The judge said Berte's drug abuse while working as a firefighter violated the respect and trust the public has in the profession, prosecutors said.
U.S. Attorney Paula Silsby said that both the conviction and sentence are significant because they send a strong message that those who choose to cultivate marijuana in Maine will be prosecuted and face stiff penalties.