Investigative Group

Police Bust Massive Suspected Chinese Illegal Marijuana Grow In Maine

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Jennie Taer Investigative Reporter
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Authorities busted a massive suspected Chinese illegal marijuana grow in Maine Tuesday, Wilton Police Department Chief Ethan Kyes said in a statement.

The Daily Caller News Foundation recently visited the site, which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) had identified in an internal memo this reporter obtained in August warning of 270 suspected Chinese illegal marijuana grows across the state of Maine. The facility contained roughly 1,211 illegal live marijuana plants and approximately 200 pounds of illegal dried marijuana worth an estimated $1,000,000, Kyes said. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Texas Border Sector At 169% Migrant Capacity As Mayorkas Lands For Visit)

(Jennie Taer//Daily Caller News Foundation)

Suspected illegal marijuana grow in Wilton, Maine (Jennie Taer//Daily Caller News Foundation)

The seizure occurred during a routine inspection at a licensed facility, where law enforcement were informed that there had been an unlicensed cannabis grow in a different building on the same property, Kyes said.

“Wilton Police Department officers seized the illegally cultivated marijuana which was destroyed as contraband. Wilton Police Department officers were assisted in their investigation by OCP investigators, Wilton Code Enforcement, Wilton Fire Department, and Wilton Public Works,” Kyes said.

“The owner of the property on Weld Road has no connection to the internal operations of either the licensed or unlicensed marijuana cultivation facility. The identity of the person or persons responsible for the unlicensed marijuana cultivation facility remains under investigation at this time. No further information will be released at this time due to the ongoing investigation,” Kyes said.

Maine residents voted to legalize marijuana in the state in 2016, while medical marijuana use has been legal since 1999. The sale of recreational marijuana officially became legal in 2020.

During the DCNF’s visit to the property, along with dozens of other suspected illegal grows, there was a potent smell of marijuana outside and the neighbors have reported some of them. Despite the grows operating in “plain sight,” law enforcement hasn’t been able to bust many of them, Stanley W. Bell, the police chief of Clinton, Maine, recently told the DCNF.

“I try to stay plugged in, I try to know what goes on, but this didn’t hit anybody’s radar or anything,” Bell said, adding that the suspected illegal grows he’s aware of aren’t licensed or registered with the state.

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