COURT NEWS

Winthrop man gets more than 8 years for stealing three dozen handguns

Posted March 14, 2011, at 12:47 p.m.
John Woodley
John Woodley

BANGOR, Maine — A Winthrop man who admitted to taking three dozen handguns from Audette’s Hardware & Sporting Goods Store in his hometown seven months ago was sentenced Monday in federal court to more than eight years in prison.

John J. Woodley, 49, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge John Woodcock to three concurrent 100-month prison sentences for theft of a firearm from the premises of a licensed dealer and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.

During the sentencing hearing in U.S. District Court in Bangor, Woodcock also ordered that Woodley serve three years of supervised release after he gets out of prison and pay $2,300 in restitution and $300 in special assessment fees.

Woodley admitted to stealing the weapons — 36 pistols and one hunting bow — during the early hours of Aug. 15 from Audette’s by breaking into the store through its roof, according to an affidavit  by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Two of the guns were recovered on the ground outside the store, and a pair of mittens, a pair of gloves and an ice-breaking tool were found at the scene, the court document states.

During an interview two days after the theft, Woodley led police to four soft rifle cases filled with handguns inside hidden in the woods about two miles from his home, the affidavit states.

Woodley told police that he broke into the hardware store, a federally licensed firearms dealer, and at first took only the hunting bow. After about 20 minutes he re-entered the store and took the handguns, the court document says.

Two pistols, a .38-caliber and a .45-caliber, are still missing.

Woodley was arrested on the federal charges on Sept. 24 and pleaded guilty on Nov. 23.

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