May 20, 2024

Mainer guilty of conspiracy Auburn watermelon bust leads investigators to coke, pot ring

ROCKLAND – U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus in Greenbelt, Md., on Tuesday sentenced Timothy Moody, 53, of Warren to 151 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.

Titus also ordered Moody to forfeit $1 million in the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force case, according to Rod J. Rosenstein, U.S. attorney for the District of Maryland.

According to evidence presented at his three-week trial, Moody was part of a drug conspiracy led by Ruben Lopez, 47, of Tucson, Ariz., which operated from January 2004 to February 2006. The operation was responsible for distributing hundreds of kilograms of cocaine and thousands of kilograms of marijuana from Tucson, Ariz., to customers in Maryland, Ohio, Georgia, Maine and elsewhere. The drugs were transported primarily by truck, a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore said.

Maine Drug Enforcement Agency Director Roy McKinney said Tuesday that the first break in the case came in the late fall of 2004 when 80 pounds of marijuana were discovered hidden in a truckload of watermelons delivered to the Good Shepherd Food-Bank in Auburn.

“That was our first big break in the case,” McKinney said. “Our agents were able to backtrack from there in the investigation.”

According to the U.S. attorney’s press release, in early 2004, co-conspirator Bruce Kilgore, 48, of Rockland inquired with Lopez about driving loads of drugs in his truck, and asked whether Lopez could supply drugs to Moody in Maine. Lopez supplied a sample batch of four to five bales of marijuana totaling 125 pounds to Moody in late November 2004. The bales were part of a larger shipment of 2.2 tons of marijuana and 20-30 kilograms of cocaine transported by other drivers under a load of watermelons, the press release stated.

The truck driver delivered three to four bales, about 80 pounds, to Moody. One bale mistakenly was left on the truck and inadvertently delivered with watermelons to Good Shepherd.

In late December 2004, Kilgore and co-conspirator truck driver Donald Greene, 46, of Limerick drove to Tucson, where they met with Lopez and loaded approximately a ton of marijuana and 20 to 30 kilograms of cocaine on a trailer, concealed by a load of oranges.

After delivering some of the drugs to customers in Ohio and Maryland, Kilgore and Greene became concerned about delivering the oranges on time and proceeded to Albany, N.Y., where they met Moody and unloaded 1,500 pounds of marijuana into a rental van. Greene delivered the oranges, and Moody and Kilgore drove to Maryland, where they delivered the marijuana.

“Moody kept approximately 400 pounds of marijuana for further sale,” the press release said.

On two occasions, Moody collected money from customers in Detroit, Mich., for Lopez. On one occasion, Moody drove with a truck driver to Detroit and collected $700,000, which Moody and Kilgore delivered to Lopez in Tucson, according to evidence at the trial.

On the other occasion, a truck driver collected approximately $200,000 to $250,000 in Detroit and gave it to Moody in Flagstaff, Ariz., who then delivered the money to Lopez in Tucson, the evidence stated.

All 13 of Moody’s co-defendants in this case have been convicted of charges related to the drug conspiracy, said Marcia Murphy of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Baltimore.

Kilgore, 48, of Rockland was sentenced to 20 years in prison; Greene, 46, of Limerick was sentenced to 57 months; and Lopez, 47, of Tucson has not yet been sentenced.

McKinney said the case was designated an organized crime operation because it involved multiple states and possibly international smuggling.


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