PORTLAND — Five more men charged in a Twin Cities-based medical marijuana-growing operation that was busted by federal agents in February have entered pleas in U.S District Court.

Police said the men 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.

On Oct. 5, 14 suspects were charged in a sweeping indictment. As of this week, eight of the 14 had made initial appearances in court.

Brian Bilodeau, 33, of Auburn and his company, Brian Bilodeau LLC, made an initial appearance Monday, pleading not guilty to nine charges stemming from the busts.

Bilodeau was charged in an October indictment with conspiracy to distribute marijuana, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking, money laundering conspiracy and three counts of illegal monetary transactions.

Bilodeau was released on a $140,000 secured bond and ordered to surrender his passport. His conditions of release specify he not travel outside of Maine and not possess narcotics or controlled substances, including legally prescribed medical marijuana.

According to previous reports, agents searched Bilodeau’s home Feb. 27, where they seized 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.

The marijuana, hash oil and one gun were found in a concrete room measuring 8-by-10 feet in the basement of Bilodeau’s house. The room was secured with a metal vault door, according to an affidavit filed by a federal drug agent. Two guns were found in the master bedroom, one on top of a nightstand and loaded. The rifle was found in another bedroom.

Agents also seized a 2016 Lamborghini Huracan, valued at $190,000, and a 2014 Nissan GT-R, valued at $60,000.

Daniel Poland, Brandon Knutson, Timothy Veilleux and Caleb Laberge all made initial appearances last Thursday in U.S. District Court in Portland, each pleading not guilty to many charges stemming from the bust.

Poland, 32, of Auburn pleaded not guilty to 10 counts, including conspiracy to distribute marijuana, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession with intent to distribute MDMA, possession with intent to distribute Alprazolam (a controlled substance used to treat anxiety), possession with intent to distribute marijuana, money laundering, destruction or removal of property to prevent search or seizure and two counts of illegal monetary transactions.

Federal agents Feb. 27 searched the house, warehouse and office of Poland, who was arrested March 12.

The search of Poland’s office turned up files for his company, TY Construction, which is incorporated in Maine, according to agents.

In the office, agents discovered pink ecstasy pills in a small credenza between two bookshelves, according to an agent’s affidavit.

Agents also found two bags concealed behind another desk in the office. One bag contained pink pills, the other white pills believed to be Alprazolam. No prescription bottle for the medication was found at the office, according to Gagnon.

Tax records reflected income earned by TY Construction.

Agents found a key in a baseball glove that opened an office safe where $140,000 in cash had been secured. Another $16,370 in cash was found elsewhere in the office.

Poland’s unsecured bond was set at $50,000.

Knutson, 33, of Lewiston pleaded not guilty to one charge of conspiracy to distribute marijuana. His appearance bond was set at $10,000. His conditions of release include no possession of a firearm or unlawful possession of narcotic drugs or controlled substances, including marijuana.

Timothy Veilleux, 52, of Auburn pleaded not guilty to four counts, including conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and three counts of maintaining a drug-involved premises. Veilleux allegedly distributed marijuana through a his property at 1830 St. Lisbon St. in Lewiston.

Veilleux’s unsecured bond was set at $50,000, and he was ordered to surrender his passport. Veilleux cannot possess a firearm under his bond restrictions.

Laberge, 23, of Lewiston pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and posted a $10,000 unsecured bond. Laberge’s conditions of release prevent him from possessing a firearm or narcotic drugs or controlled substances, including legally prescribed medical marijuana.

Richard “Stitch” Daniels, 52, of Lewiston and Steven Gallucci, 22, of Haverhill, Massachusetts, entered not guilty pleas to related charges last Thursday.

The same day, Charles Caliri, 70, of Woodstock, Vermont, pleaded not guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

L. to R.: Tyler Poland in a 2014 jail photo and Brian Bilodeau competing in the 2016 Maine Open golf tournament.  (2014 jail photo/Sun Journal)


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