AUBURN — Two men were arrested and 28 pounds of processed marijuana was seized Thursday morning, according to a release issued by Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland on Friday.
Troy Melanson, 26, of Auburn and Benjamin Thone, 32, of Turner were charged with aggravated trafficking in marijuana.
The arrests and seizure were joint efforts of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, Maine State Police and the Auburn Police Department, according to the release.
The arrests took place after drug agents watched a large plastic container being transferred between two pickup trucks at a parking lot along Minot Avenue in Auburn, according to police.
Police later stopped both vehicles, finding the tote in Melanson’s pickup with 21½ pounds of marijuana, McCausland said.
Another 6 1/2 pounds of marijuana were found inside a second tote box on Thone’s property on East Hebron Road in Turner.
Also searched was Melanson’s house at 15 Hazel St. in Auburn, where agents found $1,600 and a loaded .45-caliber pistol.
MDEA Supervisor Gerry Baril said the transfer of the marijuana in Auburn took place within 1,000 feet of Edward Little High School, elevating both charges to aggravated.
The marijuana was grown during the summer by Melanson and later stored on property owned by Thone, Baril said. The processed pot was in half-pound plastic bags ready for sale.
Marijuana is currently selling for $2,800 a pound, placing the street value of the weed seized at $78,000, Baril said.