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  • Bangor Daily News

    Man arrested during raid of illegal marijuana operation in Harmony

    By Elizabeth Walztoni,


    One man was arrested and thousands of unlicensed marijuana plants seized Tuesday at a residence in Harmony.

    Dozens of illegal growing operations with ties to China have been busted in rural Maine in the past year as part of a continued investigation involving federal and state authorities.

    At the house on Cooley Road, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office found about 3,400 plants growing in a detached garage, along with fertilizer, light and heat systems and other equipment, the Waterville Morning Sentinel reported .

    Dongming Liao, 41, of California was charged with illegal cultivation of marijuana. It was unclear to Somerset County law enforcement whether Liao was a legal citizen, the newspaper said.

    Large grow operations have been busted over the past year in Androscoggin, Kennebec, Lincoln, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset and Washington counties.

    A leaked federal government memo , first published by the conservative Daily Caller last August, estimated the state has 270 large illegal marijuana grows connected to organized crime in China. The grows bring in more than $4 billion in revenue that may go to crime in the U.S. or in China, the memo’s authors said.

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