BANGOR, Maine — A Bucksport man who admitted that he traded three of the eight guns he stole from a Blue Hill gun dealer five years ago for cocaine was sentenced Monday to nearly five years in federal prison.
Rob B. Gray, 36, was sentenced to 57 months in prison. U.S. District Judge John Woodcock also sentenced him to three years of supervised release after he completes his prison term. In addition, the judge ordered Gray to pay more than $1,800 to Richard Hill, the owner of Richard Hill Shooting Supplies, in restitution.
Gray pleaded guilty in August to theft of firearms from the premises of a licensed dealer and possession of stolen firearms. He admitted that he and another man not identified in court documents broke into the gun store between the evening hours of Jan. 6 and the early morning hours of Jan. 7, 2004, and stole eight handguns.
Over the next three years, three of the stolen guns were recovered in western Massachusetts. One was recovered by the Springfield Police Department on Sept. 13, 2004, from three juveniles during their commission of a home invasion robbery, according to court documents. Police in the same department found another gun on Jan. 23, 2007, when Springfield officers executed a search warrant.
The third was found on Aug. 27, 2007, in the Chicopee River by a fisherman, who turned it over to the Chicopee police, according to court documents.
Maine law enforcement agencies began investigating Gray in September 2006 when they received a tip from an incarcerated woman, not identified in court documents, who said that Gray and another man had burglarized a gun shop. The woman told investigators the name of Gray’s cohort.
That man, whose name was not immediately available Monday, was charged with burglary and theft by unauthorized taking in Hancock County for his part in the break-in, according to federal court documents. He was sentenced on May 25, 2007, to five years in prison with all but three years suspended and two years of probation. He also was ordered to pay restitution to Hill.
He cooperated with state and federal investigations, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He was not charged in federal court because he already had been sentenced on the gun theft charge in state court when federal prosecutors learned of his role in the crime.
Gray, who had no previous criminal record, also is facing charges in Waldo County for an armed home invasion he allegedly committed the day after the gun shop robbery, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He is expected to plead guilty in that case, but his sentencing date has not been set. In previous cases, state judges have imposed state sentences that are concurrent with federal sentences.
In federal court, Gray faced a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Under the prevailing federal sentencing guidelines, his recommended sentence was 57 to 71 months because he stole one of the guns to use in a residential burglary. Other defendants with similar criminal histories who have been sentenced for stealing guns but have not used them to commit other crimes have been sentenced to about three years in prison.
Gray has been held without bail since entering his guilty plea in August. That time will be applied to his sentence in federal prison.