BANGOR, Maine — The ringleader in the Aug. 23 burglary and theft at an Orrington gun store was sentenced Thursday to 14 years in federal prison on firearms charges.
Corey Ryan Damon, 20, of Orrington and Millinocket did not react when U.S. District Judge John Woodcock imposed the long sentence.
Damon pleaded guilty last year to theft of firearms from the premises of a federally licensed dealer and possession of stolen firearms.
Woodcock sentenced him to 10 years on the first charge and four years on the second. The judge ordered that the defendant serve them consecutively.
“Mr. Damon, I have no idea where you came from,” Woodcock said in imposing the sentence. “I have no idea how you could be a son of this area who has become so deliberately lost, so disrespectful of other people’s rights, so addicted to drugs and so violent.”
Damon has been in trouble with the law and been drinking and using drugs since he was 14, Woodcock said, citing information gathered by U.S. Probation and Pre-trial Services. The defendant was convicted of 10 juvenile crimes between the ages of 14 and 17.
“I don’t think I’ve seen someone in my years on the bench more likely to spend the rest of their life in prison,” the judge told Damon. “I am worried you will use your time in prison as a school for criminals.”
Tyler Damon, 18, of Brewer and Brandon Caparotta, 19, of Winterport have pleaded guilty to the same federal offenses. Tyler Damon is being held without bail pending sentencing and Caparotta is free on bail.
The Damons are cousins.
They were arrested a few hours after the Aug. 23 burglary on charges related to a stolen vehicle Corey Damon allegedly was driving, and they were taken to the Penobscot County Jail, according to an affidavit filed in federal court. Caparotta was arrested Aug. 26.
The owner of the Orrington gun shop was alerted to the burglary by barking from 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. Aug. 23.
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 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 in the bed of the truck was a motorcycle reported stolen from Winterport, according to police.
Caparotta was arrested three days later after investigators learned of his alleged involvement in the theft.
Interviews with the defendants led to the recovery of guns stolen from a shed in Millinocket before the Orrington burglary. Corey Damon admitted that he stole guns that belong to the great-grandfather of his former girlfriend.
The gun owners did not address the court Thursday. Assistant U.S. Attorney James McCarthy told the judge the Orrington couple, who live above the store and are in their 70s, had been negatively affected physically, emotionally and financially by the burglary.
Defense attorney Matthew Erickson of Brewer read a letter of apology Damon had written to the Barretts.
“I am sincerely sorry,” Erickson read. “I never intended to scare you or your family.”
Erickson urged Woodcock to sentence Damon to 10 years in prison. McCarthy recommended the defendant spend 17½ years behind bars.
In addition to prison time, Woodcock sentenced Damon to serve three years of supervised release after he completes his prison term and ordered him to pay restitution.
Damon has been held without bail at the Somerset County Jail pending the outcome of the case. That time will be applied to his sentence.