Law enforcement personnel load boxes of evidence into the back of a van at the Narrow Gauge Distributors building in Farmington last year. At least 12 defendants face charges in the investigation. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

BANGOR — A federal judge has temporarily paused the deadline for filing pretrial motions in the case of an alleged marijuana and money-laundering scheme in the Farmington area to give the defendants and their counsel more time to review evidence collected by the government.

The ruling stands pending scheduling a conference on the case the week of Jan. 10, 2022.

The court had set the deadline for filing motions for Thursday and Friday and the trial for the January 2022 term following defendants indicted in the case pleading not guilty on Nov. 18 to federal charges in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

The federal government alleges that Lucas Sirois, 41, of Farmington was the leader of a conspiracy and he reportedly structured operations to appear that he and co-conspirators complied with Maine’s medical marijuana laws while he regularly sold bulk marijuana on the illicit market, including $1 million worth of marijuana for out-of-state distribution between 2018 and 2019, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Sirois’ attorney, Timothy Parlatore, of New York previously said he will file for a preliminary injunction based on a federal act and federal appropriations bills. He alleges that Congress prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from expending funds interfering with a state’s medical marijuana law implementation. Parlatore claims that Sirois complied with the state’s medical marijuana laws and ran a legal licensed cannabis distribution business.

“After full consideration of the representations of counsel, the court found that the ends of justice served by the continuance of trial outweigh the interests of the public and of the defendant in a speedy trial,” according to a court document.

Magistrate Judge John Nivison granted the defendants’ motion Nov. 23 to exclude a period of time under the Speedy Trial Act, pending the scheduling of a conference before the court the week of Jan. 10, 2022. He also ordered the time from and including Nov. 23 through Jan. 14, 2022, as to all defendants in the case be excluded from calculation under the Speedy Trial Act.

The act established in 1974 and amended in 1979 “establishes time limits for completing the various stages of a federal criminal prosecution. Government attorneys should comply with the time limits established by the act,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice website.

The defendants have all agreed to waive their rights under the Speedy Trial Act, according to court documents.

Defendants who pleaded not guilty are: Sirois; David Burgess, 53, of Rangeley; Ryan Nezol, 38, of Farmington; Sirois’ father, Robert Sioris, 68, of Farmington; Derrick Doucette, 29, of Jay; Bradley Scovil, 33, of Rangeley; Lucas Sirois’ estranged wife, Alisa Sirois, 43, of Kingfield; Brandon Dagnese, 27, of Scarborough; Kenneth Allen, 48, of Farmington; James McLamb, 29, of Auburn; and Kevin Lemay, 33, of Farmington.

Lucas Sirois also pleaded not guilty on behalf three pot businesses he co-owns on Nov. 19.

Kayla Alves, 36, of Farmington, a 12th defendant in the case, has not been indicted. Nivison ruled that the case against her can move forward under a stipulation the court and her defense attorney, Walter McKee of Augusta, agreed to.

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