Cops Cleared of Federal Charges After Being Linked To Tipping Off Illegal Cannabis Operation

A federal court is determining which law enforcement officers and public officials were guilty in a conspiracy to protect an illegal cannabis operation.

A web of lies and conspiracy is unfolding involving at least four law enforcement officers and multiple city officials in the area of Franklin County, Maine. 

While two former Franklin County deputies await charges for allegedly keeping an illegal cannabis operation in Farmington, Maine in the loop of law enforcement surveillance, two other officers were cleared of federal charges after the court determined that they didn’t know why they were running plates and using government databases.

The Sun Journal reports that former Wilton police officer Kevin Lemay of Farmington and former Oxford County Sheriff deputy James McLamb of Auburn were each charged by the federal government on Nov. 9, 2021, with tampering with documents. The charges alleged that they used government databases to confirm that a cannabis operation was under surveillance, and then destroyed electronic evidence.

Federal prosecutors believe that Lucas Sirois—the ringleader—allegedly led a $13 million illegal cannabis operation and cops working for him on the inside, monitoring any potential investigations. Maine State Police officers and other law enforcement raided locations in Farmington and other places in Franklin County on July 21, 2020. After over a year of investigations, 11 people were indicted by a federal grand jury on Nov. 9, 2021, as well three businesses connected to Sirois.

But he allegedly had several cops working for him on the inside.

The two former cops were accused of running license plates per the request of Franklin County deputies Bradley Scovil and Derrick Doucette. They allegedly ran the plates to confirm that those deputies were under surveillance by law enforcement. The two former cops allegedly received cars and money in exchange for keeping the operation team in the loop. 

Sirois also allegedly had city officials working for him on the inside: Former Rangeley Selectman David Burgess also admitted he accepted tens of thousands of dollars in cold, hard cash from Sirois to advocate for town decisions that benefited him and his cannabis operation. Burgess pleaded guilty in June to charges of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, conspiracy to commit honest services fraud (bribery), and conspiracy to defraud the United States and impede and impair the Internal Revenue Service (tax fraud). His outcome was a bit less forgiving: Burgess also waived his right to appeal so long as his sentence is less than nine years.

Doucette and Scovil pleaded guilty in a federal court to conspiracy to defraud and deprive residents of Franklin County of their “right to the defendants’ honest and faithful services through bribery,” and are currently awaiting sentencing.

They won’t be doing any longer than five years in the slammer, though. Thanks to a plea deal, Doucette and Scovil waived their right to appeal the sentences, as long as their sentences are no longer than four years and nine months.

Former officer Kevin Lemay of Farmington and former deputy James McLamb of Auburn, who also once served as town manager in Dixfield, each requested dismissal of the charges against them, saying they didn’t know the reasons for using government resources.

The dismissals were granted by federal Judge Lance Walker because the government and the indictment failed to demonstrate that Lemay and McLamb were aware of a future grand jury investigation into the cannabis operation, or that their actions would affect those proceedings. That aspect is required for a conviction of tampering charge.

“Mr. Lemay is pleased that the court has granted his motion and dismissed the charges against him. He has always maintained that these charges were baseless,” his attorney, Stacey Neumann, of the law firm of Murray, Plumb & Murray in Portland, Maine told The Sun Journal in an email.

“From the outset, it has been our position that Mr. McLamb should not have been charged,” McLamb’s attorney Michael Turndorf of Turndorf Law in Portland wrote in an email. “This process has severely impacted Mr. McLamb’s life. I hope and trust that he can move on from this and lead a happy and productive life,”

Scovil and Doucette were allegedly involved in the conspiracy from June 2019 to July 21, keeping the illegal cannabis operation  Farmington informed.

Other co-defendants in the conspiracy case include Lucas Sirois,  his estranged wife Alisa Sirois, his father Robert Sirois, former Rangeley Selectman David Burgess, Brandon Dagnese, Kenneth Allen, and Ryan Nezol.

Former Franklin County Assistant District Attorney Kayla Alves also pleaded guilty to federal charges of tampering with documents for her role in the conspiracy. Her license to practice law was suspended for nine months, but has since been reinstated. Alves was sentenced to two years of probation and fined $2,000 in exchange for pleading guilty.

Allen and the Sirois family members pleaded not guilty and their cases are pending.

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