Two former sheriff’s deputies have ties to a Farmington wholesale marijuana operation targeted in a federal drug raid last week.

State records show Brad Scovil of Farmington, a former sergeant in the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, and Derrick Doucette of Livermore, the department’s former canine officer, are the treasurer and a member of the board of directors of Narrow Gauge Distributors, which was raided Tuesday by the FBI and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Scovil and Doucette left the sheriff’s department on Nov. 30, after almost four years of service each, according to agency records. But two medical marijuana retailers, each with no connection to the other, both said Doucette was working for the company while he was still a deputy. They each said he was present, in uniform, during their wholesale purchases from Narrow Gauge owner Luke Sirois at least a month before.

Both sellers, known in the industry as caregivers, refused to allow their names to be published out of fear they would be subpoenaed or raided as part of the ongoing investigation into Narrow Gauge.

One of the caregivers said they questioned Doucette’s presence at the time. They told Sirois it made them uncomfortable to buy even legal medical marijuana in front of a uniformed deputy.

“Luke said don’t worry, that Derrick was more than just an employee, he was a friend,” the first caregiver said.

That was the last time the caregiver did business with Narrow Gauge. But not everyone felt that way. In fact, some caregivers liked the fact that Sirois was hiring local law enforcement to conduct some of his wholesale deliveries, believing it would help ease the doubts of some marijuana skeptics.

“Everybody knows a cop isn’t going to work for no company that’s breaking the law,” the second caregiver said. “It made the whole thing feel on the up and up. … I thought it was a good way for Luke to kick the whole ‘Wild West’ stereotype.”

Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols referred all questions about Doucette and Scovil to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Portland, which did not return calls or emails about the Narrow Gauge case on Thursday or Friday. A spokeswoman for the FBI’s regional office outside Boston declined to comment on what she called an ongoing criminal investigation.

Maine State Police officers load marijuana plants into a shipping container on a truck behind Narrow Gauge Distributors at 374 High St. in Farmington on Tuesday. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

The sheriff’s office does not specifically forbid a deputy from moonlighting at a marijuana company, but it prohibits conducting personal business while in uniform or secondary employment without the sheriff’s express permission. It also prohibits conduct that could pose a conflict of interest, impair the department’s reputation or compromise its authority.

Doucette and Scovil could not be reached for comment.

Maine state marijuana law does not address whether current law enforcement personnel can also work for a medical marijuana business, according to David Heidrich, a spokesman at the Maine Office of Marijuana Policy. But the state’s recreational marijuana statute specifically forbids law enforcement or corrections officers from obtaining a recreational marijuana business license.

Neither Scovil nor Doucette is listed as an officer, director or general partner of Lakemont LLC, Narrow Gauge Botanicals LLC, or NG BevCo, the three Sirois-owned or -managed companies seeking recreational marijuana business licenses. Scovil is treasurer and Doucette is a director of Narrow Gauge Distributors, Sirois’ wholesale medical marijuana company.

The paper trail at the Office of Marijuana Policy makes it clear that Sirois is trying to make the jump from medical marijuana to the potentially more lucrative recreational marijuana market, also known as the adult-use market.

At the outset of the commercialization of Maine’s medical program, the former Rangeley electrician sought state licenses to open and operate three out of the state’s five licensed medical marijuana dispensaries, but he was turned down. He became a caregiver instead, and in time, as caregivers found ways to open storefronts of their own, he opened Narrow Gauge.

Law enforcement officers load items into the back of a truck Tuesday afternoon at the Narrow Gauge Distributors building at 374 High St. in Farmington. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

After a couple of years of remarkable growth, his wholesale marijuana flower can be found in dozens of boutique medical marijuana caregiver shops across the state. To create that kind of supply, he employs dozens of individual medical marijuana caregivers who grow the maximum number of plants they are allowed under law in separate, locked grow rooms carved out of Sirois’ warehouses.

Those individual caregivers may function legally as their own small business, but they often share the same staff of assistants and sell all their harvest to Sirois, who turns around and either sells the bundled loose-leaf flower to caregiver retail stores or trundles it off to a manufacturing plant, where the oil is extracted for use in cannabis-infused foods, oils or vape pens.

With his production capability, Sirois seemed well poised to sell his medical product into the recreational market once it opens. A caveat written into the state’s adult-use law allows medical marijuana companies converting from medical to recreational to make a one-time transfer of medical plants into their recreational business inventory.

Sirois is a vocal supporter of recreational cannabis. He served on the board of Legalize Maine, which organized the 2016 initiative that legalized recreational marijuana. He worked with advocates to bundle their political donations to influence marijuana policy. Now his applications to open a marijuana grow, processing lab, store and a bottling plant have secured the state’s initial OK.

But that may have changed last week, after Narrow Gauge Distributors and Homegrown Connection, another Sirois pot business, were among those raided by the FBI, U.S. DEA and Maine State Police on Tuesday. Police are not disclosing what prompted these searches, which included the homes of Sirois, his relatives and his employees, among other Maine cannabis operators.

Sirois did not return phone calls or emails seeking comment last week.

Randy Cousineau, owner of wood products company Cousineau Inc. in Wilton, is also listed as a director of Narrow Gauge Distributors and a co-owner and manager of Lakemont LLC, Sirois’ recreational marijuana growing and manufacturing facility in Wilton. Cousineau did not return calls to his cellphone or business on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday.

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