A former Waterville medical marijuana store owner faces a maximum potential penalty of up to 35 years in prison and up to $1.5 million in fines after pleading guilty Wednesday in federal court to charges of cocaine and marijuana distribution, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of firearms by an unlawful user of controlled substances.

Daniel Jason Hall Waterville Police Department

Daniel Hall, 32, of Benton, distributed cocaine and marijuana at his former store, Green Thumb Organics, to a confidential informant Jan. 29, 2020, according to a news announcement from U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank of the Department of Justice’s District of Maine. The informant did not have a medical marijuana patient card, the release says.

Green Thumb Organics is located on Armory Road, between Main Street and Drummond Avenue in Waterville. A woman who answered the phone there Wednesday said a new owner took over the store last year and Hall is no longer associated with the business.

On Feb. 19, 2020, investigators armed with federal search warrants searched both the store and Hall’s home in Benton, the release says. At the store, agents seized about three pounds of processed marijuana and edible marijuana items that weighed less than 50 kilograms.

“Agents also seized records, approximately $16,000 in cash proceeds, a video surveillance system and items of paraphernalia,” the release says. “At Hall’s residence, agents seized personal use quantities of drugs, drug paraphernalia, a handgun, two shotguns and ammunition.”

The case was investigated by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Waterville Police Department; and Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

Waterville police Chief Joseph Massey said Wednesday that the joint investigation began with Waterville police and Somerset County Sheriff’s Office and eventually led them to pull in federal investigators and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Local police and sheriff’s officials thought the case was serious enough that Hall should face federal charges, according to Massey.

“It was a great investigation and, I think, great cooperation between local, county and federal authorities,” Massey said. “I think it was successful.”

Massey said police follow up on any information they receive about such activity in marijuana retail or any other retail businesses.

“These are very serious offenses, and we see the devastation that these illegal drugs cause in our community,” he said.

Green Thumb Organics is shown Wednesday at 45 Armory Road in Waterville. The store is under new management. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Sentinel Buy this Photo

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Hall faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as between three years and life on supervised release, and a $1 million fine on the drug distribution charge. He also faces up to five years in prison, two years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on the drug possession charge. He faces up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on the firearms charge.

Hall pleaded guilty by video Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor, according to U.S. Assistant District Attorney Joel B. Casey. Casey said Wednesday in a phone interview that Hall will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office.

He said he is not sure when sentencing will take place, but it could take months.

“If this were to be an in-court sentencing, it wouldn’t be until at least April,” he said, adding that sentencing by Zoom could make that earlier.

In the fall of 2018, Hall reported a break-in at his shop where he said $10,000 worth of medical marijuana products were stolen. Waterville police investigated the incident.

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