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Six Charged in Township 37 Marijuana Grow Case

SEP 24 (Bangor, Maine) - Acting Special Agent in Charge Kevin L. Lane Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Malcolm French, 50, of Enfield, Rodney Russell, 48, of South Thomaston, Kendall Chase, 55, of Bradford, Robert Berg, 49, of Dexter, and Haynes Timberland, Inc., a Maine corporation, have been charged by indictment with federal drug and other offenses arising out of the September 22, 2009 seizure of 2,943 marijuana plants in Township 37, Washington County.

French, Russell and Chase are charged with conspiracy to manufacture over 1000 marijuana plants. French, Russell, Berg and Chase are charged with manufacturing over 1,000 marijuana plants. French, Russell and Haynes Timberland, Inc. are charged with managing and controlling property used to manufacture marijuana. French, Russell and Berg are charged with harboring illegal aliens. Berg is charged with assisting individuals conspiring to manufacture marijuana evade apprehension.

Individual defendants charged with conspiracy and manufacturing marijuana face from 10 years to life in prison and a $10,000,000 fine; those charged with managing and controlling property used to manufacture marijuana face up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine; those charged with harboring illegal aliens face up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and those charged with assisting individuals evade apprehension face up to 15 years in prison and a $5,000,000 fine. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of Haynes Timberland, Inc. and the real property used to manufacture marijuana.

The investigation was conducted by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

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