PORTLAND — An Auburn man associated with a large marijuana-growing operation in the Twin Cities is now facing gun and drug charges.
Brian J. Bilodeau, 33, was arrested Tuesday after federal agents raided his home at 72 Danville Corner Road.
Bilodeau made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland on Wednesday afternoon on charges of illegal possession of a firearm in relation to drug trafficking and possession with intent to distribute marijuana, according to Donald Clark, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Bilodeau did not enter a plea and was ordered held without bail pending a detention hearing, likely to be Monday, Clark said.
Agents searched Bilodeau’s home, where they seized a reported 183 pounds of marijuana, butane hash oil, a loaded .380 caliber pistol, a loaded 9mm pistol, an unloaded .45 caliber pistol and an unloaded .22 caliber rifle.
Agents also seized a 2016 Lamborghini Huracan, valued at $190,000, and a black 2014 Nissan GT-R, valued at $60,000, under a seizure warrant because the automobiles could potentially be forfeited as proceeds from drug trafficking, assisted in drug trafficking or were involved in money laundering offenses.
The marijuana, hash oil and firearms were hidden in a concrete room that measured 8 feet by 10 feet built into the basement of Bilodeau’s home that was secured by a metal vault door, according to an affidavit filed by a federal drug agent in court papers. A loaded handgun was found in the basement vault.
Two guns were found in the master bedroom; one of them was lying atop the nightstand, loaded. A rifle was located in another bedroom.
Bilodeau made a $95,500 cash down payment on the Lamborghini to a North Miami Beach, Florida, dealer in March 2017. His monthly payments on the car were $2,671.61, according to court papers.
The charges stemmed from an investigation into a drug trafficking organization in the Lewiston-Auburn area that is alleged to have grown and distributed large quantities of marijuana in violation of federal law, and under the cover of, but in violation of, Maine’s medical marijuana program, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland.
The organization cultivated marijuana at numerous warehouses in Androscoggin County and distributed marijuana to people who were not participants in Maine’s medical marijuana program, including out-of-state customers.
The organization also grew marijuana as a precursor for the illegal manufacture of marijuana concentrates known as butane hash oil and “shatter,” a product made from butane hash oil, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Also on Tuesday, federal agents arrested and charged Richard “Stitch” Daniels, 52, with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and manufacturing butane hash oil. An affidavit accuses Daniels of having received marijuana from the growing organization to sell outside of Maine, and to extract concentrates from the cannabis.
If convicted, Bilodeau faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine on the drug charge, and between five years and life in prison and a $250,000 fine on the firearms charge.
Bilodeau has no criminal record, but does have a series of driving convictions, including speeding in 2014 and 2017, two convictions of failure to display valid registration plate and operating a motor vehicle with a passenger who had an open container of alcohol.
He had applied in 2016 in Lewiston as a caregiver in connection with a medical marijuana facility permit.
Bilodeau is an accomplished amateur golfer and a regular competitor in the Maine Amateur.
The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the FBI; the Maine State Police; and the Lewiston, Auburn, Windham, Biddeford and Scarborough police departments.
Dennis Hoey of the Portland Press Herald contributed to this report.
A sign on the locked door of Euro Motors Auto Sales at 1830 N. Lisbon Road in Lewiston directs potential customers Wednesday to a phone number. On Tuesday, an adjoining warehouse was raided by federal agents, who seized marijuana plants. (Andree Kehn/Sun Journal)