Federal court indicts South Thomaston man for marijuana manufacturing
Bangor — The U.S. District Court in Bangor on Sept. 24 indicted Rodney Russell, 48, of South Thomaston as one of four men and a West Enfield timber company for growing more than 1,000 marijuana plants.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Joel B. Casey, the prosecutor in the case, charges stem from a raid on a growing operation in Penobscot and Washington counties in 2009.
On Sept. 23, U.S. Marshals arrested Russell and co-defendants Malcolm A. French, Robert Berg, and Kendall Chase.
Russell and other defendants were arraigned for an initial appearance on Sept. 24 before Magistrate Judge Margaret J. Kravchuk, who set bail at $10,000 unsecured, according to court records.
Russell faces nine felony counts, including a conspiracy to manufacture more than 1,000 marijuana plants, manufacturing more than 1,000 marijuana plants, two counts of using and maintaining drug-involved premises at two locations in Washington County, aiding and abetting, and three counts of harboring illegal aliens, according to Casey.
If convicted, Russell faces from 10 years to life, a $10 million fine, or both, for the marijuana charge, up to 20 years and $500,000, or both, for the drug-related premise charge, and up to five years to life and $500,000, or both, for the harboring charge, according to court records.
A trial has been set for Nov. 7 in U.S. District Court in Bangor.
Russell is being represented by attorney Steven Peterson of West Rockport.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.