A federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives center in Huntsville, Alabama. The federal agency arrested a Greenbush man on Wednesday, accusing him of illegally possessing almost 200 rounds of ammunition. Credit: David Goldman / AP

Federal agents arrested a Greenbush man Wednesday, accusing him of illegally possessing almost 200 rounds of ammunition for multiple kinds of guns, including an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

The arrest of 29-year-old David Phillips followed a nearly weeklong police presence near his Cedar Ridge Road camper, according to a Greenbush resident who passes by the property often and has spoken with Phillips.

There was a large police presence in the town of 1,500 residents on Wednesday, the day of his arrest, with officers from multiple law enforcement agencies at the property and a helicopter flying overhead.

Phillips is charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition. He was taken into custody by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and made his first appearance before a judge in federal court Thursday afternoon.

David Phillips, 29, of Greenbush makes his initial appearance in federal court virtually on Feb. 11, 2021. Phillips is charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition. Credit: Eesha Pendharkar / BDN

Federal law prohibits convicted felons from owning guns and possessing ammunition. Phillips is a felon because of a December 2016 conviction in Connecticut for a crime punishable by a prison sentence of one or more years, according to court documents. He was convicted of a felony violation of a protective order in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Superior Court.

Last month, from Jan. 20 to 30, Phillips purchased almost 200 rounds of ammunition and magazines for multiple gun types, including a Sig Sauer 300 Blackout, a type of AR-15 semiautomatic rifle, according to a federal agent’s affidavit filed in court. He purchased the ammunition from Maine Military Supply in Holden, which he visited three times during that 10-day span, according to the affidavit. The document noted that the store provided the agent with copies of receipts and security footage of Phillips’ purchases.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Portland field office executed a search warrant on a Greenbush property on Wednesday, bureau spokesperson Matthew O’Shaughnessy said Wednesday. He did not release Phillips’ name, the exact location where agents executed the search warrant or say whether agents took anyone into custody.

A week before his arrest, Phillips told the resident, who asked to remain anonymous due to safety concerns, that federal law enforcement agents were looking for him. A friend had recently visited Phillips, the resident said, and was “teaching him to shoot.”

“I try to avoid him,” the resident said. “You look at the guy and know he’s trouble.”

Phillips lives at the Greenbush property mostly by himself, the resident said. Records from the Penobscot County Registry of Deeds show Phillips, then with a Colchester, Connecticut, address, bought the Cedar Ridge Road property in February 2019.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Wolff said the federal prosecutor’s office can’t confirm or deny whether Phillips is connected to any other federal investigations.

Phillips did not enter a plea during his court appearance Thursday afternoon. His lawyer, Luke Rioux of Portland, requested a hearing on prosecutors’ motion to hold Phillips without bail.

That hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, and Phillips will remain in custody until then.

BDN writer Judy Harrison contributed to this report.