Man linked to Orrington gun thefts faces federal charge

Posted Aug. 25, 2010, at 11:37 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A federal charge has been filed against a Millinocket man accused of stealing a dozen guns earlier this week from an Orrington store.

Corey Ryan Damon, 19, is being held at the Penobscot County Jail on $10,000 cash bail on state charges related to the break-in and theft about 3 a.m. Monday at the Mill Creek Rod & Gun shop.

Damon’s first appearance in U.S. District Court on the charge of theft of firearms from the premises of a licensed dealer has not been set.

He remained Wednesday at the Penobscot County Jail unable to make bail on the state charges of burglary, theft, criminal mischief, unauthorized use of a vehicle and refusing to submit to arrest.

Law enforcement officials have recovered 22 guns from an Orrington home where Damon allegedly dropped them off shortly after the burglary.

Information about ownership of the 10 guns not from the Orrington shop has not been released but Maine State Trooper Christopher Hashey said late Tuesday all of the owners had been identified.

At least one of the guns has been traced to a burglary in Millinocket, according to local police.

“There has been a burglary in Millinocket that is connected to what they are working on in relationship to firearms,” Sgt. Jerry Cox of the Millinocket Police Department said Wednesday.

“Through their investigation, they actually found out about it [the burglary] before the owner even knew about it,” he said. “Chris had done some excellent work. Everything is coming together.”

The owner of the Orrington gun shop was alerted to the burglary by the barking of Buddy, the family dog. The Jack Russell terrier awoke Don Barrett, who has operated the gun shop in the basement of his home on Mill Creek Road for 30 years, about 2:45 a.m. Monday.

A few minutes later, he found the door to his shop open and three Winchester rifles on the floor. Barrett told police he saw a car and a truck leaving the scene.

While investigating the burglary, Hashey learned a truck had gone off the Wiswell Road in Brewer. The truck, which was being drive by Damon, was reported stolen from Corinth, and there was a motorcycle reported stolen from Winterport in the bed of the truck.

Damon and his passenger, Tyler Damon, 19, of Brewer, who is his cousin, were arrested on charges related to the stolen truck and taken to the Penobscot County Jail, according to an affidavit filed in federal court.

Tyler Damon, who was charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle in state court, has been released on bail, according to jail personnel.

In an interview Monday with Special Agent Brent McSweyn of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Corey Damon refused to say where the guns were unless he was offered a “deal,” according to the affidavit. The ATF agent refused to make promises in exchange for cooperation.

Tyler Damon, however, agreed to cooperate with authorities and led them to where the guns were hidden. The exact location of the Orrington house where the guns were found was not included in the affidavit.

If convicted on the federal charge, Corey Ryan faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He faces up to 10 years in state prison and a fine of up to $20,000 if convicted of burglary, the most serious state charge.

BDN writer Nok-Noi Ricker contributed to this report.

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