A 32-year-old Turner man has been sentenced to six years in federal prison and fined $10,000 fine for running a sizable marijuana-growing operation from his home and other properties, according to U.S. Attorney for Maine Halsey B. Frank.

Andrew Waite was arrested after law enforcement officers in early 2018 searched two warehouses under his control and found more than 350 marijuana plants, 500 pounds of marijuana and 104 sheets of marijuana concentrate. At his home, they seized 100 pounds of marijuana, a 2010 Ferrari, firearms, ammunition, a silencer with no markings or serial number, and $216,000 in cash, Frank said in a news release Friday.

Waite pleaded guilty on Oct. 16, 2019, to manufacturing 100 or more marijuana plants, possessing with intent to distribute the drug, possessing an unregistered silencer and transferring property subject to forfeiture, according to Frank.

In April 2018, Waite transferred title of his residence to his brother, in order to avoid seizure of the property under criminal asset forfeiture law. In May of this year, U.S. District Judge George Z. Singal ordered the residence forfeited as an asset used to facilitate drug offenses.

Waite was sentenced Thursday by Singal in federal court in Portland. The prison term will be followed by four years of supervised release.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case, according to Frank.

Waite’s sentencing came the day before Maine’s first legal recreational marijuana sales. Mainers formed long lines outside the state’s six open recreational cannabis shops on Friday.

Maine narrowly approved legalization of recreational cannabis in a 2016 referendum, but implementation was slowed by legislative rewrites, vetoes from then-Gov. Paul LePage, a change in administration and then the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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