BANGOR — A Brewer teenager chose to spend the holidays in jail and begin earning time toward an expected prison term rather than spend them with his family.
Tyler Damon, 19, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to federal charges in connection with the Aug. 23 burglary and theft at an Orrington gun store.
He did not enter into a plea agreement with federal prosecutors.
Damon could have remained free on $5,000 unsecured bail until his sentencing, which is not expected to be held until next year, for theft of firearms from the premises of a federally licensed dealer and possession of stolen firearms.
“I think he wants to start atoning for what he did,” Damon’s attorney, Charles Budd of Bangor, said after the 30-minute hearing.
Damon is one of four men charged in connection with the theft of about 20 guns this summer. His cousin Corey Ryan Damon, 19, of Millinocket and Brandon Caparotta, 19, of Winterport pleaded guilty last month in the same courtroom to the same charges.
Corey Damon is being held without bail. Caparotta remains free on bail. Their sentencing dates have not been set.
Robert Ryan Barker, 30, of Dedham was indicted in October on charges of possession of stolen firearms, making a false statement in a firearms application and possession of firearms and ammunition after being involuntarily committed to a mental institution after a gun found in his possession was linked to the Orrington bur-glary.
Barker is scheduled to go to trial early next year.
Each man faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The men also could be ordered to pay restitution.
The Damons 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 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.