Brian Bilodeau was sentenced to four years in prison for being the ringleader behind a massive marijuana trafficking ring.
In this Feb. 27, 2018, file photo, law enforcement officers pile marijuana plants outside of a warehouse in Lewiston. Credit: Andree Kehn / Sun Journal via AP

An Auburn man will spend more than four years behind bars for his role as the leader in a massive marijuana trafficking ring.

Brian Bilodeau pleaded guilty in October 2022 to manufacturing more than 50 marijuana plants and possessing more than 110 pounds of marijuana with intent to distribute, according to the Sun Journal.

On Wednesday, a federal judge sentenced him to more than four years in prison.

Bilodeau was ensnared in a large bust on Feb. 27, 2018, when federal investigators raided numerous properties across the Lewiston-Auburn area.

At Bilodeau’s Auburn residence, authorities seized about 180 pounds of marijuana, four firearms, a money-counting machine, a 2016 Lamborghini Huracan and a 2014 Nissan GT-R. A search of a warehouse turned up another 181 pounds of marijuana and 301 marijuana plants that the U.S. attorney said Bilodeau and others grew.

More than a dozen were charged as part of an alleged trafficking ring operating under the guise of Maine’s medical marijuana laws that sold marijuana out of state.

Bilodeau and Tyler Poland of Greene challenged their prosecutions under protections passed by Congress in 2014 barring the federal government from spending money in a way that prevents states from regulating medical marijuana. Maine is one of 36 states allowing it and has since legalized marijuana for adult use, while marijuana remains fully illegal at the federal level.

Their challenge was rejected by the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in January in just the second test of the congressional amendment, which was championed by former U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California, who now lives in York, Maine.

In his decision, Judge William Kayatta said the legal record “amply supports the finding” that the two were engaged in selling marijuana to non-patients. Because Bilodeau and Poland were clearly violating Maine laws, he said they failed to establish that their prosecution was barred.

“The conduct that drew the government’s attention was the defendants’ cultivation, possession, and distribution of marijuana aimed at supplying persons whom no defendant ever thought were qualifying patients under Maine law,” Kayatta wrote.

The enterprise netted more than $9 million over four years, according to prosecutors.

All the defendants connected to the case have been convicted and sentenced.

BDN writer Christopher Burns contributed to this report.