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Maine police arrest 6, seize plants in raids of illicit marijuana grows

Maine law enforcement arrested six people and seized more than 6,000 marijuana plants after raiding seven locations allegedly linked to unlicensed operations in recent weeks as part of ongoing efforts to reduce the illicit market in the state.

Authorities said they received a tip from the U.S. attorney general’s office about the operations, which are run in homes in remote parts of the state, according to the Portland Press Herald.

“People from out-of-state are buying houses that are foreclosed or low-cost that are isolated and not right beside another house, and the house becomes a greenhouse,” Lt. Mike Murphy of the Lincoln County sheriff’s department told the newspaper.

“There is usually a little place for the person to stay (in the house).”

According to the Press Herald, those charged were:

  • Weihuan Liu, 41.
  • Huan Ying Li, 57.
  • Zhen Zhong Chen, 45.
  • Ming Da Li, 41.
  • Wan Ting Xiao, 50.
  • Ding Zhan Liao, 49.

Police are still looking for Xiangming Yi, 61, whom they allege had 1,014 plants on his Whitefield property.

Eight other individuals have been charged as a result of raids in January.

It’s not clear if those charged are linked to the alleged Chinese-owned illicit operations that Maine’s congressional delegation have repeatedly asked the U.S. Justice Department to crack down on.

The Lincoln County sheriff’s department will continue to investigate illicit grows in the state with the help of Maine’s Office of Marijuana Policy and Drug Enforcement Agency, the Kennebec County sheriff’s office, U.S. Homeland Security, Drug Enforcement Administration and the U.S. Treasury Department.

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