BANGOR, Maine — A Bradford man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court to 15 years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Joseph Duquette, 50, was classified an armed career criminal due to his long list of state convictions dating back to 1983, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Because of that, he faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.
His criminal record includes burglary, drug trafficking, escape, assault on an officer and illegal possession of guns in 1983 and 1988, according to court document. Duquette pleaded guilty to the federal gun charge on Dec. 3, 2012, a few days before he was scheduled to go on trial.
In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge John Woodcock sentenced Duquette to five years of supervised release after he completes his prison term.
Duquette was arrested April 8, 2011, after his ex-girlfriend, with whom he has two children, called Maine State Police to report that he had guns at his home. She said that the couple’s children saw the guns during a weekend visit at Duquette’s home in January 2011.
Police retrieved from Duquette’s bedroom a .32-caliber pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun and a rifle, along with ammunition, according to court documents.
He had been held without bail since his arrest. That time will count toward his sentence. Duquette’s case was delayed while he underwent a psychiatric evaluation out of state last year.
Duquette faced between 15 years and life in prison. If his criminal record had not qualified him for armed career criminal status, Duquette would have faced between 11 and 14 years in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.