PORTLAND — A Turner man pleaded guilty today in federal court to manufacturing 100 or more marijuana plants, possessing with intent to distribute marijuana, possessing an unregistered silencer and transferring property subject to forfeiture.

On Feb. 27, 2018, investigators searched the 75 Nezinscot Drive home of Andrew Waite, 31, and two warehouses under his control at 11 and 33 Conant Road in Turner. In the warehouses, agents seized a total of more than 500 pounds of marijuana, 104 sheets of marijuana concentrate and more than 350 marijuana plants, according court court papers.

In his home, drug agents seized approximately 100 pounds of marijuana, roughly $216,000 in cash, a 2010 Ferrari, firearms, ammunition and a silencer with no markings or serial number.

Waite was one of more than a dozen individuals targeted in a federal marijuana raid in the area on that day.

On April 18, 2018, Waite transferred title of his residence to his brother, Joshua Waite, in order to prevent or impair seizure of the property for criminal forfeiture.

Waite faces from five to 40 years in prison and a fine of up to $5 million on the marijuana manufacturing charge, up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the silencer possession charge, and up to five years in jail and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the marijuana possession and property transfer charges.


A federal grand jury ultimately handed up a 41-count indictment against more than a dozen suspects — largely from Lewiston and Auburn — stemming from the federal raids.

Although Waite was targeted in those raids, he was never indicted, according to court papers. Instead, he waived his right to have a grand jury find probable cause and charge him with the crimes and agreed to allowing the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring the charges to which he pleaded guilty.

The aim of the raids was to bust a medical marijuana-growing operation that illegally sold surplus pot and derivatives, according to police and federal drug agents.

Prosecutors alleged the drug-trafficking organization grew and distributed large amounts of marijuana under the cover of Maine’s medical marijuana program, but sold marijuana to buyers who were not participants in the program and included out-of-state customers and laundered the money through various area businesses.

Those raids saw federal drug agents execute 20 search warrants on properties in and around Lewiston and Auburn, including Turner.

He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the IRS Criminal Investigation Division investigated the case.

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