PORTLAND —A Lewiston man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to a felony drug charge stemming from a 2018 pot raid at more than 20 locations in the Twin Cities area that netted more than a dozen defendants.

Timmy Bellmore, 44, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to conspiring to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana plants and marijuana involving 100 or more plants and kilograms of marijuana.

On Feb. 27, 2018, federal drug agents executed search warrants at grow operations in the Twin Cities area that sold marijuana and its derivatives over the course of three years to Maine and out-of-state customers who were not participants in the Maine Medical Marijuana Program, according to federal authorities.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney David Joyce, Bellmore “was an active participant in the conspiracy’s daily operations. He was involved with the acquisition of cultivation locations, the design of marijuana grow rooms, the cultivation of plants and the distribution of finished product during the . . . the conspiracy’s existence.”

Bellmore faces between five and 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million for the crime. In a plea agreement, he waived his right to appeal his conviction and any sentence of up to 90 months.

U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal told Bellmore he wasn’t bound by the terms of the agreement and that he could impose a sentence that didn’t conform with federal guidelines.

Bellmore also pleaded guilty to a charge of tax evasion, which carries a maximum sentence of five years and a fine of up to $100,000.

He agreed to pay the IRS more than $200,000, plus interest, in unpaid federal taxes from marijuana trafficking for 2016-17.

On behalf of the company, TMB Auto, LLC, of which he is the sole member and officer, Bellmore pleaded guilty Tuesday to money laundering in the marijuana conspiracy.

In 2017, Bellmore bought a property at 57 Fair St. in Lewiston for $89,000, according to Joyce. He made a total of three cash payments totaling $65,000, the final one on Sept. 10, 2017, Joyce wrote in court papers. “These payments represent proceeds earned by Timmy Bellmore from his participation in the organization described above,” Joyce wrote. “The real estate transaction in the name of TMB Auto, LLC that is referenced above was designed to conceal the nature and ownership of proceeds derived from unlawful cultivation and distribution of marijuana.”

Bellmore also agreed to forfeit accumulated assets from marijuana operations proceeds, including more than $150,000 in cash, more than $100,000 in jewelry, a tractor worth more than $20,000 and a bank account with a balance of more than $50,000.

At the time of sentencing, prosecutors will dismiss additional charges handed up against Bellmore and TMB Auto in an October 2018 superseding indictment, Joyce told the judge.

Bellmore had hoped to remain free while awaiting sentencing. A former Auburn police officer and drug agent testified that Bellmore was needed to help care for the former officer’s elderly parents. But Judge Singal said he didn’t find “exceptional circumstances” that would keep Bellmore from being taken into custody. After court was adjourned, a marshal handcuffed Bellmore, who was dressed in civilian clothing, and led him from the courtroom.

 

 


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