A Cornville man remained held in lieu of bail Friday at the Somerset County Jail on charges alleging that he broke into the home of a medical marijuana caregiver on Town Farm Road in that town and made off with a boat motor and “several pounds” of pot.

Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said Nelson Wheeler, 26, is charged with a class C felony count of theft by receiving stolen property, the 2.2-horsepower Mercury boat motor.

The marijuana theft remains under investigation, he said.

Lancaster said the charge against Wheeler is elevated to the felony level because he has previous burglary and theft convictions.

On Aug. 15 the sheriff’s office received a report of a burglary that day on Town Farm Road in Cornville, the sheriff said. The victim is a licensed medical marijuana caregiver. Detective Michael Ross, of the Sheriff’s Office Criminal Division, was assigned to the investigation.

On Aug. 29, police learned that Wheeler, also of Cornville, was offering to sell a 2.2-horsepower Mercury boat motor to a third party and a meeting place was arranged in Skowhegan. At the meeting location, Ross confronted Wheeler and was able to have the victim identify the Mercury outboard motor as the one that had been stolen.

Wheeler was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property, class C, punishable by up to five years in prison. He is scheduled to appear Nov. 22 in Somerset County Unified Court.

Lancaster would not say how many pounds of medical marijuana were stolen. He said with new laws in Maine about the cultivation and distribution of medical marijuana, there has been an increase in related criminal activity. He said the marijuana providers often are reluctant to report those crimes.

“We have had several reports of providers who have had their product stolen from them,” he said.

Wheeler is being held in lieu of $2,500 cash bail or $50,000 property bond.

The investigation into the burglary is ongoing, and anyone with any information about it is asked to call Ross at 858-9530 or contact him via email at [email protected]

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter:@Doug_Harlow

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