SKOWHEGAN — A man was arrested Wednesday in connection to an illegal marijuana bust that occurred in Canaan earlier this week, authorities said.

Jian Ji Wu Photo courtesy of Somerset County Jail

Jian Ji Wu, 63, of Canaan, was arrested shortly after 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Skowhegan and charged with illegal cultivation of marijuana and trafficking in scheduled drugs, Somerset County Sheriff Dale Lancaster said in a news release.

“Detectives made contact with Wu in the parking lot of Walgreens located in Skowhegan,” Lancaster said. “This search warrant was the result of a monthslong investigation into illegal marijuana plant cultivation activities occurring in Somerset County.”

The arrest came as a result of a raid Somerset County Sheriff’s deputies conducted Tuesday at a residence on Hinckley Road in Canaan, where authorities found nearly 900 marijuana plants and more than 30 pounds of processed cannabis.

Lancaster said the Canaan operation contained safety and health violations. Black mold and electrical hazards have been found at other growing sites authorities have busted so far.

“All of the 16 search warrants executed thus far on residences affiliated with these illegal marijuana plant cultivation cases have exhibited a pattern of operations,” Lancaster said Tuesday.


The dozens of illegal cannabis operations busted throughout rural central Maine in recent months may be tied to organized, transnational crime groups with ties to China, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said earlier this month.

The people working at the growing operations appear to be doing so willingly, and there is no evidence of human trafficking, according to U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine Darcie N. McElwee.

“The possibility that organized criminal enterprises with alleged ties to China are using Maine properties to profit from unlicensed marijuana operations and interstate distribution makes it clear that there is need for a strong and sustained federal, state and local effort to shut down and thoroughly investigate these operations,” McElwee said at that time.

Wu is being held at the Somerset County jail in Madison on $25,000 cash bail. His initial court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 7.

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.