BANGOR — A federal judge Friday granted a six-month extension for defendants to file motions in the investigation of an alleged marijuana growing and money-laundering operation in the Farmington area that resulted in indictments against a dozen people and corporations.
U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John C. Nivison signed an order after a videoconference hearing that included codefendants in the case, setting July as the new deadline for motions. All motions had been due this month, but Nivison had paused that time limit to hear from defendants who argued there was too much evidence turned over by prosecutors to review in that time period.
The defendants on Friday waived their constitutional rights to speedy trial to allow for the extension.
“They’ve dumped massive amounts of discovery on us,” Timothy Parlatore, attorney for lead defendant Lucas Sirois, said Friday. “It’s hundreds of thousands of files.”
Nivison also pushed back the tentative trial date to September.
In Parlatore’s review, so far, of those documents shared by prosecutors, he said he has seen nothing that shows his client ran afoul of the Maine Medical Use of Marijuana Act.
He said the judge expects prosecutors and defense attorneys to work cooperatively to sort out which evidence is criminally incriminating and what would exonerate the defendant.
Once he has had a chance to pore over all of the material, Parlatore said he plans to file a motion seeking an injunction, citing the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which prohibits the U.S. Department of Justice from spending any money that would interfere with the implementation of state cannabis laws.
Defendants indicted in the case pleaded not guilty in November to federal charges in U.S. District Court in Bangor.
Prosecutors allege that Lucas Sirois, 41, of Farmington was the leader of a criminal conspiracy intended to appear as though he and co-conspirators had complied with Maine’s medical marijuana laws while, in fact, he regularly sold bulk marijuana on the illicit market, including $1 million worth of marijuana for out-of-state distribution between 2018 and 2019, according to court documents.
Defendants who have pleaded not guilty to charges in an indictment are: Sirois; David Burgess, 53, of Rangeley; Ryan Nezol, 38, of Farmington; Sirois’ father, Robert Sirois, 68, of Farmington; Derrick Doucette, 29, of Jay; Bradley Scovil, 33, of Rangeley; Lucas Sirois’ estranged wife, Alisa Sirois, 43, of Kingfield; Brandon Dagnese, 27, of Scarborough; Kenneth Allen, 48, of Farmington; James McLamb, 29, of Auburn; and Kevin Lemay, 33, of Farmington.
Lucas Sirois also pleaded not guilty on behalf of three corporations he co-owns.
Randal Cousineau, 69, of Farmington pleaded guilty to conspiring to possess and distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and 1,000 marijuana plants. He faces from 10 years to life in prison and up to a $10 million fine, according to court records.