A Corinna man was fined and sentenced on drug and counterfeiting charges Friday in U.S. District Court in Bangor.

Robert Berg, 52, of Corinna, was sentenced by Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. to six months in prison and one year of supervised release for being an accessory after the fact to the manufacture of 1,000 or more marijuana plants and was fined $10,000, according to a news release from U.S. District Attorney Thomas Delahanty. An accessory after the fact is a person who, knowing that an offense has been committed, helps the offender avoid getting caught, tried or punished, according to the release.

Berg’s business, Berg Sportswear, of Corinna, also was fined $10,000 for trafficking in counterfeit goods, and Berg was placed on probation for one year and ordered to pay $11,855 in restitution.

Berg pleaded guilty to the drug charge on Jan. 7, 2014, and the counterfeiting charge on June 23, 2014.

In regard to the drug charges, according to court records, on Sept. 22, 2009, law enforcement officers discovered a “large, sophisticated marijuana growing operation” in Township 37 in Washington County. Records show Berg was aware that Malcolm French, Rodney Russell, Kendall Chase and a number of migrant workers were growing marijuana in Township 37; and when law enforcement arrived, several of the migrant workers fled into the woods, according to the release. At French’s request, Berg drove to Township 37 with another person, found the migrant workers, took them to his Corinna residence and hid them in his barn. He also gave them food and clothing.

A day or two later, another person picked up the migrant workers at Berg’s barn and drove them out of the state, the release said.

The case was investigated by the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Office of Homeland Security Investigations, and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The counterfeting charge stems from Berg, between January 2006 and January 2011, illegally using trademarks of professional sports teams on items he produced at a screen printing business that prints, markets and sells apparel bearing trademarks and other logos and images, according to the release.

Berg counterfeited apparel bearing the trademarks of the Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots, New York Yankees, Harley-Davidson, John Deere, Jack Daniels, Orange County Choppers and Playboy, the release said.

Employees designed counterfeit trademarks, created screens from which the trademarks could be printed on apparel items and printed the counterfeit trademarks on those items.

“Counterfeiting is not a victimless crime,” said Matthew Etre, of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, in the release. “It dupes the consumer, forces local stores out of business and results in lost revenue for the trademark holders. Intellectual property theft is a very real crime with very real victims.”

The case was investigated by HSI, with the assistance of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.


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