Two more face felony charge in illegal marijuana seizures in Whitefield, Maine

Officials are announcing more arrests related to illegal marijuana farms in Whitefield. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office says two people were arrested following the seizure of 1,014 marijuana plants at 34 Clover Lane on Jan. 10. Over several days in January, search warrants had been served at seven properties in Whitefield, Jefferson and Chelsea. Six people were arrested in those seizures, none holding a marijuana license. A warrant was also issued for 62-year-old Xiangming Ye, who investigators say fled before their arrival at Clover Lane on Jan. 10. Tuesday, deputies announced that while monitoring the home in the days after the seizure, deputies saw Ye and a woman there. In the process of charging Ye on Feb. 1, deputies say he admitted that the woman was also involved. Deputies returned and issued a summons to Hongxia Kuang, 51, also of Whitefield and Brooklyn, NY. Both Kuang and Ye are charged with unlawfully cultivating marijuana, a class B felony. A few counties over in Androscoggin County, nearly 2,500 illegal marijuana plants were seized from a home in Turner. The discovery of the grow operation was made after customers at a business nearby reported smoke coming from the home, which later turned out to be steam. The Androscoggin County sheriff says it’s unclear if the Turner home was connected with the types of operations being investigated in Lincoln and Somerset counties. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office says the drug seizures in Whitefield, Chelsea and Jefferson are all in connection with an investigation that began in December when the U.S. Attorney’s office provided information about possible grow operations in the county. Investigators believe out-of-state buyers were purchasing low-priced properties in order to set up the grow operations. In a letter sent to the Justice Department in August, Maine’s congressional delegation asked the U.S. Department of Justice to address the “illegal growing operations run by foreign governments or entities,” 270 of which were suspected to be “Chinese illegal marijuana growing operations in Maine worth an estimated $4.37 billion.””Maine towns and legally operated dispensaries have been seeing and feeling the impacts of these illegal operations,” a follow-up letter sent Jan. 30 read. “While these illegal operations may be secretive, they are often not hard to spot for neighbors in these tightknit communities.”The Jan. 30 letter urged the DOJ to take further action and commit more resources to “shut them down.”

Officials are announcing more arrests related to illegal marijuana farms in Whitefield.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office says two people were arrested following the seizure of 1,014 marijuana plants at 34 Clover Lane on Jan. 10.

Over several days in January, search warrants had been served at seven properties in Whitefield, Jefferson and Chelsea. Six people were arrested in those seizures, none holding a marijuana license.

A warrant was also issued for 62-year-old Xiangming Ye, who investigators say fled before their arrival at Clover Lane on Jan. 10.

Tuesday, deputies announced that while monitoring the home in the days after the seizure, deputies saw Ye and a woman there. In the process of charging Ye on Feb. 1, deputies say he admitted that the woman was also involved.

Deputies returned and issued a summons to Hongxia Kuang, 51, also of Whitefield and Brooklyn, NY. Both Kuang and Ye are charged with unlawfully cultivating marijuana, a class B felony.

A few counties over in Androscoggin County, nearly 2,500 illegal marijuana plants were seized from a home in Turner. The discovery of the grow operation was made after customers at a business nearby reported smoke coming from the home, which later turned out to be steam.

The Androscoggin County sheriff says it’s unclear if the Turner home was connected with the types of operations being investigated in Lincoln and Somerset counties.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office says the drug seizures in Whitefield, Chelsea and Jefferson are all in connection with an investigation that began in December when the U.S. Attorney’s office provided information about possible grow operations in the county. Investigators believe out-of-state buyers were purchasing low-priced properties in order to set up the grow operations.

In a letter sent to the Justice Department in August, Maine’s congressional delegation asked the U.S. Department of Justice to address the “illegal growing operations run by foreign governments or entities,” 270 of which were suspected to be “Chinese illegal marijuana growing operations in Maine worth an estimated $4.37 billion.”

“Maine towns and legally operated dispensaries have been seeing and feeling the impacts of these illegal operations,” a follow-up letter sent Jan. 30 read. “While these illegal operations may be secretive, they are often not hard to spot for neighbors in these tightknit communities.”

The Jan. 30 letter urged the DOJ to take further action and commit more resources to “shut them down.”

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