2 more men charged in theft from Orrington gun shop

Posted Aug. 27, 2010, at 2:05 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:33 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — Two more men have been charged in federal court in connection with the theft of firearms from an Orrington gun shop early Monday morning.

Brandon Caparotta, 19, of Winterport and Tyler Damon, 18, of Brewer were charged Friday with theft of firearms from the premises of a federally licensed dealer and possession of stolen guns.

Caparotta made his first appearance Friday in U.S. District Court. U.S Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk ordered that he be held without bail until Wednesday, when a bail hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m.

Damon’s first court appearance has not been set.

His cousin Corey Ryan Damon, 19, of Millinocket was charged Wednesday in federal court with theft of firearms from the premises of a federally licensed dealer. He has not been charged with possession of stolen guns.

Corey Damon’s first appearance in federal court has not been scheduled. He 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.

He remained Friday 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 recovered a large number of guns from an Orrington home where Corey Damon dropped them off shortly after the burglary, according to court documents.

The owner of the Orrington gun shop was alerted to the burglary by the barking of Buddy, the family dog. Don Barrett, who has operated the gun shop in the basement of his home on Mill Creek Road for 30 years, was awakened by the Jack Russell terrier at 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, Maine state Trooper Christopher Hashey learned a truck had gone off Wiswell Road in Brewer. The truck, which was being driven by Corey Damon, was reported stolen from Corinth, and there was a motorcycle reported stolen from Winterport in the bed of the truck, according to a previously published report.

The Damons were arrested Monday 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 in state court with unauthorized use of a vehicle, 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 agent refused to make promises in exchange for cooperation.

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

On Tuesday, Corey Damon cooperated with McSweyn, according to the affidavit filed Friday when Caparotta was charged. Corey Damon allegedly admitted stealing guns in a residential burglary in Millinocket a week or so before the Orrington break-in. He also said that he had left some of those stolen guns with Caparotta and had stored others at his Millinocket home.

Corey Damon also told the agent that in addition to his cousin, Caparotta and Caparotta’s girlfriend were involved in the gun shop break-in, according to the affidavit. The girlfriend is not named in court documents.

Caparotta drove the Damons to Corinth, where Corey Damon stole the truck, the older Damon told the agent. The four planned the burglary of the gun shop together, according to the affidavit, and went to the gun shop in tandem — the cousins in the stolen pickup and Caparotta and his girlfriend in Caparotta’s car.

After the break-in, Corey Damon said, they all went to Caparotta’s apartment in Winterport, where they left the firearms, according to the affidavit. The Damons then left and headed toward Brewer, where they got the truck stuck on Wiswell Road and were arrested.

In a separate interview, Caparotta told McSweyn that the morning after the gun shop break-in, he took the stolen guns to the home of a friend in Orrington, where they later were recovered. Other guns, believed to have been stolen in the Millinocket burglary, were recovered from Corey Damon’s home.

In all, a dozen of the 22 recovered guns were traced to the Orrington gun shop. The rest were taken from the Millinocket residence during the earlier break-in, according to the affidavit.

If convicted on the federal charge of theft of firearms from the premises of a federally licensed dealer, each man faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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