Two Maine men were sentenced Tuesday to federal prison for their role in an illegal marijuana growing operation in the Waldo County town of Frankfort.

Christopher Ruhlin, 49, of Holden will serve 20 months for marijuana conspiracy and structuring financial transactions and Terrence Sawtelle, 49, of Dexter will serve one year and one day for marijuana conspiracy, according to U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank. Each man was given three years of supervised release upon completion of the prison terms.

They were sentenced in U.S. District Court in Bangor by Chief Judge Jon D. Levy.

According to court records, between 2010 and 2016 Ruhlin and Sawtelle conspired to illegally manufacture, package and distribute marijuana from a leased facility in Frankfort.

Authorities said the Frankfort facility was not reported, as is required by law, to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Sawtelle distributed the marijuana at Ruhlin’s business, the Owl’s Club in downtown Bangor, under the cover of – but in violation of – Maine’s medical marijuana program, according to Frank. As part of his sentence, Ruhlin was ordered by Levy to forfeit $115,000.

In 2010, Ruhlin had sought, but been denied, a license to operate a medical marijuana dispensary in the state. The judge said that Ruhlin was “operating the Owl’s Club as the dispensary that he was denied a license to operate by the state.”

Levy added that “the unregulated sale of marijuana is dangerous. Simple as that.”

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