Sentences Imposed in Township 37 Marijuana Grow Case
Contact: Joel Casey
F. Todd Lowell
Assistant United States Attorneys
Tel: (207) 945-0373
Bangor, Maine: United States Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced that Malcolm French, 54, of Enfield; Rodney Russell, 52, of South Thomaston; and Kendall Chase, 59, of Bradford; were sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. for offenses arising out of the September 22, 2009 seizure of 2,943 marijuana plants in Township 37, Washington County.
French was sentenced to 175 months in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of $100,000 for conspiracy to manufacture over 1000 marijuana plants, managing and controlling property used to manufacture marijuana and harboring illegal aliens. Russell was sentenced to 151 months in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to manufacture over 1000 marijuana plants, managing and controlling property used to manufacture marijuana and harboring illegal aliens. Chase was sentenced to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $17,500 for conspiracy to manufacture over 1000 marijuana plants.
In imposing sentence, Judge Woodcock said the defendants “attempt to make profits turned into a series of losses,” that he was “profoundly offended by the perjurious testimony of French and Russell” and that the defendants had the “bad fortune to run into an extremely professional prosecutorial and investigative team whose diligence was the hallmark of the case.”
On February 10, 2016, Haynes Timberland, Inc. was sentenced to pay a $100,000 fine for managing and controlling property used to manufacture marijuana. Haynes Timberland and French were also ordered to forfeit $1,550,000, a warehouse compound in Township 31, and a hunting camp in LaGrange that facilitated drug trafficking.
The Director of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency (“MDEA”), Roy McKinney said, “This case was and remains the largest and most sophisticated marijuana growing operations in Maine history.”
“I commend the dedicated investigators and members of the prosecution team who have worked tirelessly on this case for many years,” said Joel Garland, Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Field Office. “IRS-Criminal Investigation provides the financial expertise needed to trace drug trafficking proceeds which, as shown in this large-scale marijuana operation, can lead to the forfeiture of significant assets.”
“U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Office of Homeland Security Investigations (“HSI’s”) unique law enforcement authorities bring to the table, not only the experience and expertise to handle the criminal investigation of this grow operation, but also the ability to appropriately investigate their dealings with undocumented aliens,” said Matthew Etre, Special Agent in Charge of HSI Boston. “Our partnerships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies helps ensure that these criminal drug organizations are completely dismantled, making communities safer.”
The case was investigated by the MDEA, IRS-Criminal Investigation and HSI, with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Maine State Police, the Washington and Penobscot County Sheriff’s Offices, the Maine Warden Service, the Maine Forest Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. This investigation is part of the ongoing effort of the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF), a partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations, and those primarily responsible for the nation’s illegal drug supply.