PORTLAND — A Portland man who is accused of running an interstate marijuana smuggling operation and laundering more than $100,000 in cash through a Maine attorney has been arrested on a federal drug charge.
David Jones, 29, was arrested Friday on a charge of possession with intent to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana, an offense punishable by as much as 40 years in prison, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Portland.
His former attorney, who is not named in court records, is under investigation, according to an affidavit filed by Paul Wolf, an agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, seeking the warrant for Jones’ arrest.
“The investigation of the financial relationship between Jones and the attorney revealed that the financial dealings between Jones and the attorney were not within the scope of an attorney-client relationship but rather that the attorney and Jones were partners in several businesses and real estate transactions,” Wolf said in the affidavit.
Jones, who goes by the nickname David Kaos, became the target of a federal investigation in 2012 after a friend who helped him with the drug business was arrested in Kansas while driving about 100 pounds of marijuana from California to Maine, the affidavit says.
The friend, who also is unidentified in court records, provided information to police after his arrest on Sept. 5, 2012, telling authorities that Jones had had 5,500 pounds of marijuana shipped to him from California in 2011 and 2012 using the U.S. Postal Service.
The affidavit says the friend told police that Jones had gone to California on the trip in September 2012 and was headed back to Maine in a separate vehicle, with plans to meet that night at a hotel in Ellsworth, Kan.
Kansas authorities arrested Jones that day a few blocks from the hotel, as authorities in Maine searched Jones’ former home in Scarborough, where they found cash, a money counter and receipts from the law firm of Jones’ former attorney reflecting cash payments.
It is unclear from federal court records in Maine whether Jones was charged with any crime at the time of his arrest in Kansas. He had about $8,000 in cash, the records show.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Maine filed a motion Friday seeking to have Jones detained. He was in custody Monday in the Cumberland County Jail, pending a detention hearing scheduled for Thursday.
Scott Dolan can be reached at 791-6304 or at: