LEWISTON — A federal grand jury has handed up a 41-count indictment against more than a dozen suspects — largely from Lewiston and Auburn — stemming from federal raids in the Twin Cities area in February.
The aim of the raids was to bust a medical marijuana-growing operation that illegally sold surplus pot and derivatives, according to police and federal drug agents.
Prosecutors alleged the drug-trafficking organization grew and distributed large amounts of marijuana under the cover of Maine’s medical marijuana program, but sold marijuana to buyers who were not participants in the program and included out-of-state customers.
The Oct. 5 indictment named eight additional suspects charged with felonies in connection with the Feb. 27 raids. Those raids saw federal drug agents execute 20 search warrants on properties in and around Lewiston and Auburn.
The list of newly indicted defendants includes Timothy Veilleux, 52, of Auburn who is charged with Class B felony conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 or more marijuana plants and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, a crime that carries a sentence of five to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million.
He also was charged with maintaining a drug-involved premises at 97 Fourth St. in Lewiston, where he unlawfully distributed and manufactured marijuana, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, according to court records.
The grand jury also indicted Timmy Bellmore, 42, of Lewiston on one count of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 or more marijuana plants and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana. Bellmore was also indicted on a count of manufacturing 100 or more marijuana plants, a Class B felony that carries the same penalties for conviction, and three counts of money laundering, a Class C felony, each count punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
Bellmore allegedly laundered drug money across state lines through TMB Auto, LLC. Specifically, a total of $65,000 in drug money was funneled through the business in 2017, according to the indictment.
His criminal history includes convictions for assault and aggravated criminal trespass dating back to the 1990s.
Brian Bilodeau, 33, of 72 Danville Corner Road in Auburn was indicted in June by a federal grand jury on two felony counts: possession with intent to distribute marijuana and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime. The first charge is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. On the second charge, Bilodeau faces five years to life in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
In the recent indictment, he is charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, along with Veilleux and Bellmore.
Acting as MR, LLC, Bilodeau also is charged with laundering money from illegal pot proceeds through the purchase of real estate at 230 Merrow Road totaling $450,000.
Through Brian Bilodeau, LLC, he conducted illegal money transactions totaling $50,000, the indictment charges.
Tyler Poland, 32, of 249 Merrow Road, Auburn, was indicted by a federal grand jury in June on two felony counts: possession with intent to distribute MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana. The maximum punishment for each of the felonies is 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Last week, he also was charged with conspiracy to distribute marijuana.
Poland of TY Properties, LLC was also indicted on money laundering charges involving a cash payment of $200,000 made to an unnamed person and company using money from drug proceeds, according to the indictment.
Poland was charged last week with making illegal money transactions by depositing money from drug proceeds totaling $50,000 in a local bank account. He also was charged with destruction or removal of property to prevent search or seizure by transferring $220,000 from a TD Bank account in the name of TY Construction, LLC to a different bank account held in the name of his father, according to the indictment. Daniel Poland III of D.L.P. Builders Inc. is charged with making false statements to the Internal Revenue Service in May and July.
Two other Lewiston men, Brandon Knutson, 33, and Caleb Laberge, 23, as well as Mark Kilpatrick, 29, of Auburn, were charged in the latest indictment with conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 or more marijuana plants and 100 kilograms or more of marijuana, a felony punishable by between five and 40 years in prison and fine of up to $5 million.
Charles Caliri, 70, of Woodstock, Vermont, and Yehudi Pardo, 33, of Boston were charged with attempted possession with intent to distribute marijuana, a crime punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Shawna Bielawski, 21, of Sabattus was charged with a Class D felony, punishable by up to three years in prison, on a perjury charge. In the indictment, she reportedly lied under oath when she said she had not ever seen more than pound of marijuana in her home, never helped sell “dabs” (butane hash oil) and never delivered “dabs” at the request of another person.
Richard “Stitch” Daniels, 42, of Lewiston had been charged federally earlier this year in connection with the operation, but was indicted anew last week on one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, three counts of distribution of marijuana, one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana, manufacturing a controlled substance and distribution of LSD.
Five businesses in the Twin Cities were indicted for being places where marijuana distributing and manufacturing took place, some dating back to 2015. According to court records, they included 1830 Lisbon St., LLC; MR, LLC at 230 Merrow Road, Auburn; Comvest Inc. at 17 Bridge St., Lewiston; TY Properties, LLC at 249 Merrow Road; and Willie Moe Entertainment Inc. at 29 Avon St., Lewiston.
Federal prosecutors are seeking forfeiture of more than $300,000 in seized cash, eight men’s watches, a $37,000 diamond ring, about $750,000 held in escrow or in bank accounts and five pieces of real estate, including three in Lewiston and one in Auburn.
Law enforcement agents remove marijuana plants from a building on Lincoln Street in Lewiston in February. (Sun Journal 2018 file photo)
Local and federal law enforcement agents gather at the home of Brian J. Bilodeau at 72 Danville Corner Road in Auburn in February. Authorities seized several luxury cars at the house including a blue Lamborghini Huracan valued at $190,000. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal 2018 file photo)
Brian Bilodeau (2016 Sun Journal file photo)
Tyler Poland, left, in a 2015 jail photo. Brian Bilodeau, right, competing in the 2016 Maine Open golf tournament. (Sun Journal file photos)
Timothy Veilleux’s Auburn house as of Feb. 27, according to Auburn city records. (Chris Williams file photo)
Law enforcement officers pile marijuana plants outside a warehouse on Lisbon Street in Lewiston in February. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal 2018 file photo)