Farmington Man Pleads Guilty to Role in Illegal Marijuana Distribution Conspiracy Involving Money Laundering and Public Corruption
12 additional defendants were charged in a 14-count criminal complaint filed today in federal court, describing the conspiracy’s end-run around Maine’s medical marijuana program
BANGOR, Maine: A Farmington man pleaded guilty today in federal court to conspiring to possess and distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and 1,000 marijuana plants, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.
According to court documents, from about 2016 through July 2020, Randal Cousineau, 69, participated in a conspiracy to illegally cultivate and sell marijuana. Cousineau was the primary financier and 50% partner with a co-conspirator in an illegal marijuana cultivation facility in Farmington. He also held an interest in an illegal marijuana distribution company. Members of the conspiracy cultivated and sold marijuana in violation of Maine’s medical marijuana laws, selling bulk marijuana illicitly to individuals who were not registered as caregivers, and for distribution outside of the state of Maine. Cousineau realized hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit from these illegal sales.
Cousineau faces up to life in prison and a $10 million fine. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
A related 14-count criminal complaint was also filed today in U.S. District Court in Bangor, charging 12 defendants with a variety of offenses, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, bank fraud, tampering with proceedings, tampering with documents, conspiracy to defraud the United States and to impede and impair the IRS, tax evasion, and tax fraud.
According to the criminal complaint, Lucas Sirois, 41, of Farmington, was the leader of the criminal organization. He and his coconspirators realized in excess of $13 million over a six-year period through the illicit sale of marijuana. Sirois structured his operations to appear as though they complied with Maine’s medical marijuana regime while he regularly sold bulk marijuana on the illicit market, including more than $1 million worth of marijuana for out-of-state distribution between 2018 and 2019 through codefendant Brandon Dagnese, 27, of Scarborough, a convicted felon who was ineligible to hold a caregiver card in Maine.
Also as alleged in the criminal complaint:
In addition to the criminal complaint, a civil complaint was unsealed today in federal court, seeking the forfeiture of 12 real properties involved in the facilitation of illegal marijuana trafficking and/or purchased with illegal drug proceeds.
A chart containing the names, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants charged in the criminal complaint is set forth below. The maximum potential sentences described therein are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for information purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants would be determined by the sentencing judge.
U.S. Attorney McElwee praised the outstanding investigative work of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division, Portland Resident Office; the FBI’s Boston Division; and the Boston Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigation. Ms. McElwee thanked local and state Maine law enforcement partners for their participation in, and support of, the investigation.
The charges and allegations contained in the criminal complaint are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.