Man charged in Orrington gun shop burglary to be released to house arrest

Posted Sept. 08, 2010, at 6:31 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:29 a.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the man accused last month of breaking into an Orrington gun shop and stealing a dozen firearms can be released on bail under strict conditions, which include house arrest.

Corey Ryan Damon, 19, of Millinocket is not expected to walk out of the Penobscot County Jail and into the custody of his grandparents Cheryl and Robin Cassidy of Orrington until next week. Officers with U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services must determine what kind of electronic monitoring is best suited to their residence before Damon can live there.

Conditions of Damon’s release set by U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk include house arrest; mental health and substance abuse counseling; no access to dangerous weapons, illegal drugs or prescription narcotics; and no contact with his co-defendants, witnesses or victims in the case. If he violates any conditions of his release, Damon’s grandparents told the judge that they would call authorities.

Damon has been charged in U.S. District Court with theft of firearms from a federally licensed dealer in connection with the break-in and theft about 2:45 a.m. Aug. 23 at the Mill Creek Rod & Gun. He also is facing state charges of burglary, theft, criminal mischief, unauthorized use of a vehicle and refusing to submit to arrest in the same incident.

He was taken into federal custody on Sept. 2 after his grandparents and other family members posted the $2,000 cash bail set on the state charges.

Federal prosecutors asked that Damon be held without bail due to his extensive criminal history as a juvenile. Defense attorney Matthew Erickson of Brewer argued that conditions could be fashioned to assure the community’s safety and said his client agreed to abide by strict conditions.

Damon is one of three men charged in connection with the break-in at the gun shop, which has operated from the basement of an Orrington home for three decades. Brandon Caparotta, 19, of Winterport was released last week on $5,000 unsecured bail on federal charges of theft of firearms from the premises of a federally licensed dealer and possession of stolen guns.

Corey Damon’s cousin Tyler Damon, 18, of Brewer is facing the same charges but has not yet appeared in federal court. Tyler Damon was described as a fugitive during his cousin’s bail hearing Wednesday.

He was charged in state court with unauthorized use of a vehicle the day after the break-in and released on bail from Penobscot County Jail two weeks ago.

During the break-in at the gun shop, Caparotta allegedly acted as lookout while Corey Damon broke into the store. Tyler Damon allegedly drove the getaway car for his cousin.

The owner of the shop was alerted to the burglary by the barking of Buddy, the family’s Jack Russell terrier. Minutes later, he found the door to his shop open and three Winchester rifles on the floor, according to court documents.

While investigating the burglary, Maine State Police 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 police.

The Damons were arrested a few hours after the burglary on charges related to the stolen truck and taken to the Penobscot County Jail, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. Caparotta was arrested on Aug. 26.

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

Trial dates for the trio have not been set.

If convicted on the federal charges, each man faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

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