Turner Man Charged with Illegal Firearm/Silencer Possession and Marijuana Trafficking
Portland, Maine: United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Andrew Waite, 29, of Turner, Maine, was charged by indictment in U.S. District Court with illegal possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime, illegal possession of a silencer without a serial number that was not registered to him, and possession with intent to distribute marijuana.
According to a criminal complaint, the charges arose from an investigation into a drug trafficking organization located in Turner that is alleged to have grown and distributed large quantities of marijuana in violation of federal law, and under the cover of, but in violation of, Maine’s Medical Marijuana program. In February 2018, federal, state and local law enforcement agents executed over 20 search warrants in the Lewiston-Auburn area. The defendant’s Nezinscott Drive residence was searched. Agents seized about 100 pounds of marijuana, a loaded 9mm pistol, a 7.62mm x 39 pistol, a drum magazine, ammunition, a silencer and more than $150,000, much of which was stacked in $5,000 increments. Agents also seized a Ferrari pursuant to a seizure warrant on the basis that it was forfeitable as proceeds of drug trafficking, facilitated drug trafficking, or was involved in money laundering offenses.
If convicted, the defendant faces between five years and life and a $250,000 fine on the firearm charge, up to five years and a $250,000 fine on the drug charge, and up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine on the silencer charge.
The defendant was arrested on July 18 in North Carolina and is scheduled to make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Portland today at 3:30 p.m.
The investigation is being conducted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the FBI; the Maine State Police; and the Lewiston, Auburn, Windham, Biddeford and Scarborough Police Departments.
A criminal complaint and an indictment are merely accusations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.