LEWISTON — A Sabattus woman denied a federal perjury charge this week in connection to a federal raid earlier this year on major marijuana-growing operations in the Twin Cities.
Shawna Bielawski, 21, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland to the charge, which is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Prosecutors say Bielawski, who testified in March at the detention hearing of co-defendant Richard “Stitch” Daniels, 42, of Lewiston, answered while under oath she had seen medical marijuana in his house, but never more than a pound.
Asked whether she helped him sell or deliver “dabs” — concentrated butane hash oil derived from marijuana plants — Bielawski said she hadn’t.
“You’re sure about that under oath?” she was asked.
“I’m positive,” she answered.
A grand jury found in an indictment that there was probable cause to believe her testimony had been false.
Bielawski was one of 14 named defendants netted in a 41-count federal indictment handed up last month stemming from a series of raids Feb. 27, during which federal agents executed 20 search warrants on properties in and around Lewiston and Auburn.
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.
In this file photo, law enforcement officers pile marijuana plants outside a warehouse on Lisbon Street in Lewiston in February. (Sun Journal file photo)