French denies growing marijuana in Township 37; claims motorcycle club forced …

January 22nd, 2014 by admin Leave a reply »

BANGOR, Maine — The Enfield man on trial accused of running a large marijuana farm in Township 37 worked by illegal aliens in 2009 took the stand Tuesday and denied knowing about or being involved in the operation.

Malcolm French, 52, admitted he paid for soil, wire fencing and other supplies in 2006 and 2007, supplies that others have testified were used at the pot plantation. He said on the ninth day of the trial in U.S. District Court that he was forced to order, purchase and arrange for the delivery of supplies to repay a motorcycle club for marijuana that was stolen two separate times from land in LaGrange where French has a hunting camp.

French, Rodney Russell, 50, of South Thomaston and Kendall Chase, 57, of Bradford face charges in connection with the marijuana plantation raided by agents with the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency on Sept. 22, 2009.

Under direct examination, French said that in the fall of 2005, Michael G. Smith, 51, of Bradford told him that $35,000 worth of marijuana that had been growing on French’s land in LaGrange had been stolen. French testified that Smith told him at the hunting camp that the marijuana had belonged to the Red Patch motorcycle club.

French said he assumed Smith had connections to the club.

Smith, who has not been charged in connection with the case, is named on Chase’s witness list but no other defendant witness list. Chase’s attorney, Jeffrey Silverstein of Bangor, said after court recessed Tuesday that he

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