Maine authorities charge 5 in illicit marijuana grow crackdowns

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Maine is cracking down on unlicensed marijuana operators, charging five individuals in two separate investigations in the past week.

In the most recent instance, Maine State Police on Tuesday responded to a community complaint about two homes in Belgrade, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Police said they executed search warrants at both residences and found 2,300 marijuana plants, which they seized.

Yuequan Chen, 44, and Li Min Chan, 66, were charged with illegal cultivation of marijuana and unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs.

Chen is from Massachusetts and Chan from Florida, according to the Daily News.

In the other instance, the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office said it responded last weekend to a tip that someone was being held against their will at an address in the town of China, according to Portland TV station WGME.

Police who arrived at the scene said they didn’t find anyone in trouble but instead discovered an illicit commercial cannabis operation.

Three individuals – Changgeng Chen, 36; Bing Xu, 41; Aiqin Chen, 43 – were arrested and charged with unlawful trafficking of a Schedule Z substance, which includes marijuana.

Police seized 970 cannabis plants and a large collection of seedlings.