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Black market marijuana tied to Chinese criminal networks infiltrates Maine

1 minute reading time (233 words)

Maine is the newest frontier for the illicit marijuana trade, with potentially hundreds of suspected unlicensed grow houses operating in the state, a CBS News investigation has found.

It’s part of a larger phenomenon nationwide. Thousands of illegal marijuana farms have been cropping up in states like Oklahoma, California and Colorado, according to Raymond Donovan, the former chief of operations for the Drug Enforcement Agency.

“[Maine] is a perfect location to cultivate cannabis and do it in a way that is very discreet,” Donovan told CBS News. In part, that’s because of the state’s proximity to major distribution markets in Boston and New York.

In December, after a six-week investigation, Maine law enforcement raided a home in Machias, a rural town on the southeastern coast, and found a large facility with over 2,600 plants and 100 pounds of processed and packaged marijuana.

“I’ve been doing this a lot of years, and that was probably the biggest indoor marijuana grow I’ve ever seen,” Police Chief Keith Mercier said. “It was quite an impressive operation.”

Machias Police were assisted by DEA, FBI, Homeland Security, the Office of Cannabis Policy, Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Washington County Sheriff’s Department.

“This is a statewide problem,” Mercier said. “The information we have says that there’s over 200 (facilities) that are actively working right now.”

[Read more at CBS News]
(Originally posted by AggregatedNews)


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