Three men were arrested and placed in the Oxford County Jail after police seized 82 marijuana plants and 3.5 pounds of processed marijuana early Friday morning.

The marijuana was seized from three different locations as several law enforcement agencies worked together to execute a search warrant, according to a press release issued by Steve McCausland of the Maine Department of Public Safety. The drugs had a street value of about $60,000, McCausland said.

Richard A. Priest III, 29, of 723 Scribner Hill Road, Otisfield, was arrested at home and charged with aggravated cultivating of marijuana and aggravated trafficking in scheduled Z drugs, both class B felonies, McCausland said.

McCausland said 23 marijuana plants were found growing outdoors behind Priest’s residence. The plants, which were seized by the police, were found growing in a wooded area about 400 feet behind Otisfield Elementary School.

Also seized were four ounces of packaged marijuana and 20 recently-harvested marijuana plants, McCausland said, as well as three rifles, a digital scale, $142 and several small bags of marijuana believed to be intended for distribution.

Kenneth J. McKenna, 31, with a last-known address of 134 Grant St. in Portland, also was arrested at Priest’s home, McCausland said. McKenna was charged with Class C aggravated cultivating of marijuana for allegedly assisting in the care and maintenance of the marijuana plants.

In addition, McKenna was charged by the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department with the misdemeanor offenses related to a state inspection sticker and registration plates attached to his vehicle.

The third man arrested was Derek W. Boutilier, 26, of Patte Brook Road in Albany Township. No street address was given.

Boutilier was charged with aggravated cultivating of marijuana. According to McCausland’s release, a search of his vehicle found an unloaded .44-caliber Magnum handgun, while a search of his home found 36 marijuana plants, over three pounds of dried, processed marijuana and a rifle, all of which were seized.

Agents from the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Oxford County Sheriff’s Department, the Maine State Police, the Rumford Police Department and the High Intensity Drug Task Force in Portland were involved with Friday’s arrests, which began with the first drug seizures at 6 a.m.

McCausland’s press release stated that police also on Friday visited a home on Pound Road in Harrison, where they recovered three marijuana plants and small amounts of processed marijuana. The home’s occupant has not been charged, the release said.

Priest and Boutilier have allegedly been involved with growing 140 marijuana plants in Otisfield, Albany Township, Lovell and Harrison earlier this year, according to McCausland.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Supervisor Gerry Baril said Friday the arrest of the pair was important.

“Anytime you’re getting 100 or more plants attributed to one enterprise, it’s significant,” he said, noting that police on Friday likely captured most of the growing or processed plants involved in this situation.

Oxford County Jail officials said Boutilier was released on bail for $1,000 cash or $5,000 surety on Friday.

Priest was still in jail, his bail set at $1,000 cash or $10,000 surety.

McKenna also was still in jail, with his bail set at $500 cash.


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