Maine law enforcement raided an illegal marijuana grow at 414 Kennebec Road in Machias Thursday, confiscating more than 2,600 live marijuana plants and more than 100 pounds of processed cannabis.
“At 9:30 monday morning, the Machias Police Department executed a search warrant at 414 Kennebec Road in Machias. This was as the result of a very lengthy investigation we’ve been conducting for the last month or so into an illegal commercial marijuana grow operation located at that address,” said Machias Police Chief Keith Mercier.
Mercier said that three individuals, all of Asian descent, were arrested in the course of the raid and none of them appear to be U.S. Citizens.
Ming Li, 52, of Machias
Dong Yang Li, 60, of Brooklyn, NYC
Peng You Phang, 61, of Machias
“2,607 plants were seized, and over 100 pounds of processed marijuana was seized,” Mercier said.
The raid comes little more than one month after the Maine Wire published an investigative report revealing the locations and owners of dozens of Chinese-owned marijuana grows dotting rural Maine.
According to the Washington County Registry of Deeds, the Machias property was purchased in 2021 by HBA Properties, a Webster, Mass.-based company.
According to Mass. corporate records, the officers of that company are Fanny Sun, Qiao Yi Wu, Sinh Phat Voong, and Zhan Su.
Chen was not among those arrested Thursday morning, and it wasn’t immediately clear whether he would be questioned in connection with the raid.
All three men were charged with two Class B felonies for illegal trafficking in Schedule Z and illegal trafficking in cannabis with 500 plants or more, Mercier said.
The Office of Cannabis Policy, who assisted in the raid, determined that the facility was not operating in relation to any adult use recreational or medicinal license.
The federal Drug Enforcement Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency assisted in the investigation.
The street value of the marijuana seized would amount to more than $1.1 million dollars if sold in Maine, but the price could be three times as high if the product were to be trafficking to states where marijuana is still illegal.
Steve Robinson on the George Hale Ric Tyler Show describes the bust:
More from the Maine Wire’s TRIAD WEED Series
- How Chinese Marijuana Grows Took Over Rural Maine
- State Law Enforcement, Feds Struggle to Clamp Down on Illegal Chinese Drug Operations in Maine
- Maine Legislature Will Consider Proposal to Fight Chinese-owned Marijuana Operations
- Collins, Golden Renew Call for DOJ Action Against Illicit Chinese Marijuana Grows Following Maine Wire Report
(Correction: An earlier version of this story misidentified the owner of the property.)