BANGOR — A Farmington man pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to felonies in a wide-ranging conspiracy involving illegal marijuana growth and sales that also implicates a dozen people, including a county prosecutor, three former sheriff’s deputies, a police officer and an elected town official.

Randal Cousineau, 69, admitted in U.S. District Court 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.

Prosecutors said that from about 2016 through July 2020, Cousineau participated in a conspiracy to illegally cultivate and sell marijuana. He was the primary financier and half-interest partner with a co-conspirator in an illegal marijuana cultivation facility in Farmington, Narrow Gauge Botanicals LLC, according to court records.

He also held an interest in an illegal marijuana distribution company. Members of the conspiracy cultivated and sold marijuana in violation of Maine’s medical marijuana laws, selling bulk marijuana illicitly to people who were not registered as caregivers, and for distribution outside of the state, according to court records.

Cousineau realized hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit from these illegal sales, according to court records.

Prosecutors filed a 14-count criminal complaint Wednesday in federal court that charges 12 people with a range of criminal conduct, including conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, bank fraud, tampering with proceedings, tampering with documents, conspiracy to defraud the United States and to impede and impair the IRS, tax evasion and tax fraud, according to a statement issued Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee.

In that complaint, Lucas Sirois, 41, of Farmington, is named as leader of the criminal organization. He and his co-conspirators realized in excess of $13 million over six years through the illicit sale of marijuana, the complaint alleges.

Sirois structured his operations to appear as though they complied with Maine’s medical marijuana regime while he regularly sold bulk marijuana on the illicit market, including more than $1 million worth of marijuana for out-of-state distribution between 2018 and 2019 through co-defendant Brandon Dagnese, 27, of Scarborough, a convicted felon who was ineligible to hold a caregiver card in Maine, according to the complaint.

McElwee said the complaint names other alleged conspirators.

In an effort to conceal his activities and maximize his profits from illegal drug trafficking, in which he engaged with Alisa Sirois, 43, of Kingfield, Robert Sirois, 68, of Farmington, and Ryan Nezol, 38, of Farmington, among others, Sirois laundered drug proceeds through a complex corporate structure, the complaint alleges.

Lucas Sirois lied to his financial institution about the nature of his business and the source of funds that flowed through his accounts. He and his tax preparer, Kenneth Allen, 48, of Farmington, filed false income tax returns to hide hundreds of thousands of dollars in income, resulting in tax loss to the United States in excess of $400,000.

The complaint alleges Sirois defrauded the taxpayers of the state of Maine by using his drug money to corrupt members of local law enforcement and town government, McElwee said.

Then-Franklin County Deputy Sheriffs Bradley Scovil, 33, of Rangeley, and Derrick Doucette, 29, of Jay, obtained confidential law enforcement information for Sirois that he used to benefit his illegal business. In exchange, Sirois rewarded Scovil and Doucette with ownership interests in his business and brand new so-called “company” cars, the complaint states.

Later, Sirois used Scovil and Doucette’s network of active law enforcement officials to obtain information about the ongoing federal investigation into his criminal activity, according to the complaint.

Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Kayla Alves, 36, of Farmington, tipped off Scovil to the existence of the Sirois probe, after Wilton police officer Kevin Lemay, 33, of Farmington, and then-Oxford County deputy sheriff James McLamb, 29, of Auburn, used government databases to confirm for Scovil and Doucette that they were under surveillance by law enforcement. All three officials later destroyed electronic evidence of their wrongdoing with Scovil and Doucette in order to conceal it from investigators, McElwee said the unsealed complaint alleges.

Scovil and Doucette both left the sheriff’s department in November 2019 after about four years of service, according to agency records.

Rangeley Selectman David Burgess, 53, accepted tens of thousands of dollars in cash payments from Sirois, including investment in his internet startup company, in exchange for advocating for Sirois’ preferred agenda in town government, including voting to advance a marijuana ordinance that Sirois himself had drafted to a town referendum, according to McElwee.

During that time, Sirois paid Burgess thousands of dollars a week to manage his marijuana businesses, a conflict Burgess never made public, according to the complaint.

A civil complaint also was unsealed Wednesday in federal court that seeks the forfeiture of 12 properties involved in the facilitation of illegal marijuana trafficking and/or purchased with illegal drug proceeds, McElwee said.

• Lucas, Alisa and Robert Sirois, Burgess, Scovil, Doucette, Dagnese and Nezol are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, which is punishable depending on the amount of marijuana involved for each of the defendants.

• Lucas and Alisa Sirois and Burgess are charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, which punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

• Lucas Sirois and Burgess are charged with conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

• Lucas Sirois, Scovil, Doucette and McLamb are charged on a separate count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

• Lucas and Alisa Sirois are charged with bank fraud, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.

• Burgess also was charged with bank fraud, and faces up to 30 years in prison.

• Alves was charged with tampering with proceedings and tampering with documents, each charge punishable by up to 20 years in prison. She has been on administrative leave with pay since August, District Attorney Andrew Robinson said Wednesday evening.

• Lemay and McLamb are each charged with tampering with documents for which each faces up to 20 years in prison.

• Lucas Sirois, Burgess and Allen are charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and impede and impair, for which each faces up to five years in prison.

• Sirois faces up to five years in prison on a charge of tax evasion.

• Allen faces up to three years in prison on a charge of tax fraud.

At least nine of the defendants are scheduled to appear in federal court in Bangor on Thursday or Friday.

McElwee praised the outstanding investigative work of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, New England Division, Portland Resident Office; the FBI’s Boston Division; and the Boston Field Office of IRS Criminal Investigation. She thanked local and state Maine law enforcement partners for their participation in and support of the investigation.

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