An IRS-Criminal Investigation agent walks up the driveway of Tyler Poland’s home on Merrow Road in Auburn during a February 2018 drug bust in Lewiston and Auburn. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal file photo

PORTLAND — An Auburn man admitted in federal court Tuesday to three felonies stemming from his role in what agents referred to as a drug trafficking organization that was distributing large quantities of marijuana under the guise of Maine’s medical marijuana program.

Tyler Poland in 2018 Androscoggin County Jail photo

Tyler Poland, 36, pleaded guilty to charges of possession with intent to distribute MDMA (also known as Ecstasy or Molly), possession with intent to distribute marijuana and removal of property to prevent seizure.

Each of the first two crimes is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $1 million fine; the third count, up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Federal agents fanned out across Androscoggin County on Feb. 27, 2018, executing more than 20 search warrants, including at a warehouse located at 249 Merrow Road in Auburn.

The warehouse was under the control of Poland, prosecutors said in court documents.

During their search, agents seized a distributable quantity of what a laboratory tested and determined was MDMA. During this same search, agents also seized more than 50 kilograms of marijuana that Poland intended for distribution, prosecutors said.


According to court documents, Poland bought the warehouse in October or November of 2017.

The previous owner had been granted a permit for wiring for a grow facility at the site. The contractor hired to do the work was TY Construction, owned and operated by Poland.

In September 2017, the city had granted a second permit to fix wiring in upstairs grow rooms that the tenant had installed on his own, according to court papers.

On Feb. 27, 2018, agents seized about 608 marijuana plants, 366 pounds of processed marijuana, hundreds of Ecstasy pills and more than $156,000 in cash at the 249 Merrow Road address.

In the office, agents discovered the pink Ecstasy pills in a small credenza between two bookshelves. Concealed behind another desk in the office, they found two bags: one containing pink pills and another that contained white pills, believed to be alprazolam, a generic prescription tranquilizer. No prescription bottle for the medication was found in the office, according to the agent who wrote the affidavit for the warrant.

Agents found a key in a baseball glove that opened an office safe where $140,000 in cash had been secured. An additional $16,370 in cash was found elsewhere in the office, according to court papers.


On that date, Poland became aware of the search warrant for his property and transferred $220,000 from a bank account on which he was the sole authorized signer to an account at another bank held in the name of a company owned by his father, prosecutors said.

Poland transferred the funds for the purpose of preventing or impairing the government’s lawful authority to take such property into its custody or control, according to prosecutors.

In his agreement with prosecutors, Poland agreed to plead guilty to the three charges.

Under the agreement, if U.S. District Court Judge George Z. Singal, who accepted Poland’s plea Tuesday, were to impose a prison sentence of more than 51 months, Poland would be allowed to withdraw his plea and go to trial, which is scheduled for October.

If the judge were to impose a sentence of less than 31 months, prosecutors could withdraw their plea offer.

Poland agreed Tuesday to forfeit $156,370 in cash, $292,293.39 in bank accounts controlled by him, real estate at 249 Merrow Road, Auburn, and a high-end wristwatch.


Prosecutors plan to dismiss the remaining six counts from a superseding indictment filed against Poland at the time of his sentencing.

Poland has been free on an unsecured bond of $50,000 and had been ordered to surrender his passport.

No sentencing date has been set.

More than a dozen people and businesses were charged in connection with the trafficking organization, federal officials said. Many have been convicted and sentenced.

Co-defendant Brian J. Bilodeau of Auburn and Brian Bilodeau, LLC, are scheduled for trial in October, which is expected to last roughly two weeks.

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