A Greene man has pleaded guilty to federal gun and drug charges stemming from a violent home invasion in 2014 that brought police to his former Minot home.

Ross Tardif, 30, entered his pleas on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Portland before Judge Jon Levy just days after the trial of the three men accused of home invasions was scheduled for jury selection on Sept. 6.

Tardif was not home at the time of the invasion at the 340 Garfield Road house in Minot on Aug. 2, 2014, when police say three men armed with a handgun and crowbar broke in and took three people inside hostage, according to court records.

“When law enforcement personnel went in to the house looking for evidence related to the home invasion investigation, they observed numerous items they believed were related to drug trafficking. The agents obtained a state search warrant to search the defendant’s residence. Upon execution of the warrant, the agents recovered 147 oxycodone 15 mg pills, 504 oxycodone 30 mg pills, 330 grams of cocaine, a drug press and 12 firearms (and many rounds of ammunition) from various locations inside the residence,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Perry wrote in the prosecution document.

Tardif arrived at the house while police were executing the search warrant and agreed to speak with them, the court document states.

“He admitted he was a drug trafficker and that for at least the last couple months he had been obtaining the drugs from a source of supply in New York City to distribute in Maine,” Perry wrote

Tardif also told police that he had left a 9 mm pistol on his bed that was missing after the home invasion. Police later recovered that gun from the girlfriend of one of the home invasion suspects, according to court documents.

The three men charged with the home invasion – Kourtney Williams, 26; Victor Lara Jr., 32; and Ishmael Douglas, 28 – have each pleaded not guilty to multiple federal charges and remain jailed pending trial.

An affidavit filed with the court in Lara’s case gives the most explicit available description of what authorities believe happened during the home invasion, describing it as a scheme hatched by the trio to rob a known drug dealer to get “quick cash” in order to bail Williams’ cousin out of jail.

“The victims were ordered to the ground, and the robbers tried to restrain them with zip ties. Two of the victims were assaulted with the crowbar. One of the assaulted victims saw one of robbers enter a bedroom and return with a video game player and a second handgun. That same victim fled the scene before he could be tied up and ran to a neighbor’s home. That victim later observed the three male robbers running to a car parked not far from the home invasion,” Christopher Concannon, an agent for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, wrote in the affidavit.

Following the robbery, police were able to identify the driver of the getaway vehicle as Williams’ girlfriend. She cooperated with federal authorities, telling them what happened and where to find the guns, Concannon wrote.

Tardif pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to two counts of drug possession with intent to distribute, one count for cocaine and the other for oxycodone, and a third count of possession of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Tardif also waived his right to appeal whatever sentence the judge imposes unless it is greater than six years in prison. The first two counts are each punishable by up to 20 years in prison. The third counts is punishable by a minimum of five years and up to life in prison.

The judge has yet to set Tardif’s sentencing date. He was allowed to remain free while the case against him is pending on a $10,000 unsecured bond.

Williams, Lara and Douglas each face up to life in prison if they are convicted.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

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