PORTLAND — A Lewiston man was sentenced Tuesday to 7 1/2 years in prison for his role in a Twin Cities conspiracy to sell marijuana illegally under the guise of the Maine Medical Marijuana Program.

Timmy Bellmore, 45, also was sentenced to a concurrent 30 months behind bars for evading $206,724 in income taxes, for which he was ordered to pay restitution to the Internal Revenue Service.

Bellmore told the judge he was sorry for his actions and that he took full responsibility, as evidenced by his guilty pleas to the two charges more than a year ago.

He apologized to the many people he implicated in his illegal conduct by including them in his marijuana growing business. They believed he was operating legally under the state’s medical marijuana program.

“My behavior was very selfish thinking,” he said, adding he was responsible for their lives “being turned upside down,” and he’d convinced himself that he was acting responsibly.

“I was in way over my head,” Bellmore said, by surrendering to his “criminal thinking.”

“I wish I could take it all back. … I regret my choices every day,” Bellmore said.

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 prosecutors.

Joyce said 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 said he hoped for a five-year sentence, while Assistant U.S. Attorney David Joyce was seeking 7 1/2 years.

U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal agreed with the D.A., saying Bellmore had helped build a “huge illegal marijuana operation.”

Although some suggested it was a medical marijuana program sanctioned under state law, Singal said, “It wasn’t. This was an illegal operation from beginning to end and done purely for money.”

When searching Bellmore’s home, investigators discovered eight watches, some valued at tens of thousands of dollars, as well as a diamond ring worth nearly $40,000.

Bellmore, who wore a blue jail suit Tuesday while appearing from Cumberland County Jail, has been incarcerated there since his January 2020 guilty pleas.

Present at Bellmore’s videoconference court hearing to show their support for him were 30 friends, some of whom spoke and most of whom had written the bulk of 40 letters presented earlier to the judge. They spoke of Bellmore’s loyalty and generosity as a friend and compassion in helping them through their respective struggles in life.

“He’s always had a heart of gold,” Simon Graham said.

The judge said the outpouring of support by Bellmore’s friends belies his flagrant violation of state and federal laws for years.

In his time on the bench, Singal said, “I’ve never seen anyone who had this many people speak on behalf of (a defendant’s) good character.”

After serving his sentence, Bellmore must be on supervised release for four years with conditions that include no possession of illegal drugs and no creation of corporations: he must not be self-employed.

Bellmore had faced between five and 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million for the crime of conspiracy to manufacture, distribute and possess with intent to distribute 100 or more marijuana plants and 100 or more kilograms of marijuana.

The tax evasion charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Singal also sentenced Bellmore’s used car company, TMB Auto, LLC, to one year of probation. The federal government had earlier taken through criminal forfeiture $65,000 in total tax liens on Bellmore’s Lewiston home.

Joyce said the forfeiture represents proceeds earned by Bellmore from his participation in the criminal enterprise and also dismissed other related charges against Bellmore.

 

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