CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A Manchester-based, multimillion-dollar marijuana ring that imported the drug from Canada and distributed it throughout New Hampshire and possibly in neighboring states has been broken up, the U.S. attorney’s office announced Monday.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Donald Feith said state, local and federal law enforcement have been investigating the ring for the past year, using wiretaps, surveillance, undercover operations and controlled buys to gather evidence.
Ten people were charged last week with distribution of controlled substances and conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. Some have been detained, others released under federal supervision and some are still not in custody.
During the arrests, police found 30 pounds of marijuana, two pounds of MDMA — also known as Molly or Ecstasy — $85,000 in cash and numerous guns, including a machine gun and silencer, Feith said.
The marijuana, sometimes 100 pounds a week, was selling for between $3,300 and $4,000 a pound, and Feith said the seized pot alone had a value of about $150,000, making it safe to say the value of drugs moved by the ring exceeded a million dollars.
“We consider it very significant, both monetarily and from drug weight,” he said.
The investigation came from information gathered during a similar drug operation in 2008 that was launched when a truck with New Hampshire plates was pulled over in Oklahoma and police found more than $2 million in cash. During that probe, called Operation Brown Shirt, police determined that a marijuana supplier in Canada was sending the drug across the border into New Hampshire, Vermont and New York and then distributors in the U.S. were taking it to California.