PORTLAND — A Lisbon man appeared by teleconference Wednesday in federal court on charges of dealing in firearms without a license.

Wendell Millett, 71, was charged with five counts of the Class E felony; each carries a penalty of up to five years in prison.

Millett was at his Lisbon home and appeared over the phone during the hearing, while his attorney, Verne Paradie, was on a phone at his Lewiston office. U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III, who was on a different phone line, continued Millett’s release from jail on his personal recognizance.

He was arrested in Florida on Jan. 29 and had appeared initially on the charges in a federal court in that state.

The case was transferred to Maine.

Rich set conditions of Millett’s release Wednesday to include no purchase or sale of firearms and a prohibition from leaving Maine without permission from the supervising officer monitoring his release.
He must surrender his passport.

According to an affidavit written by Special Agent Christopher Concannon at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Millett had held a federal firearms broker’s license from 1989 to 1994.
Concannon wrote that he had received information that Millett was involved in more than a dozen firearms sales from 2010 to 2019 with his Maine phone number listed as the seller of guns on a couple of websites.

Millett also had listed several firearms for sale in the Maine printed publication Uncle Henry’s guide that also has a website.

Concannon checked and discovered that Millett no longer had a broker’s license.

On Aug. 21, a federal agent called Millett and said he was interested in buying one of the guns Millett had listed for sale in Uncle Henry’s.

That agent would make five purchases over three months, each time wearing electronic audio and video surveillance and paying with prerecorded government currency, Concannon wrote in his affidavit.

That agent met with Millett on Aug. 22 at his Lisbon home and paid him $800 for a Smith & Wesson .357-caliber revolver. During that purchase, Millett told the agent that he had other guns for sale. The agent asked Millett if he had any Glock 9 mm handguns to sell. Millett told the agent he would contact him when he found one to sell him.

The serial number of the revolver was traced back to Coastal Defense in Auburn, according to the affidavit.

A week later, Millett contacted the agent to say he had a Glock 19 Gen4 for sale for $600.

The agent met with Millett to buy the gun. Then he asked Millett if he could buy another Glock for a friend. Millett said he likely could.

In September, two agents went to Millett’s home and bought a Glock 9mm handgun with $600 in prerecorded currency, according to the affidavit.

Later in September, the first agent bought a Colt M4 Carbine 5.56 mm rifle from Millett.

The rifle was later traced to Coastal Defense in Auburn, Concannon’s affidavit said.

The final recorded purchases were made in October when two agents went to Millett’s home and bought two guns, a Sig Sauer P938 Equinox, 9 mm pistol and a Glock 19 Gen4, 9 mm pistol for $575 and $525, respectively.

Investigators traced the Glock back to Howell’s Gun Shop in Gray.

Concannon wrote he later learned Millett had bought 52 firearms from various federally licensed firearm dealers between May 7 and Nov. 3, 2019.

In November, agents interviewed Millett at his Lisbon home, according to the affidavit.

He told the agents be bought and sold many items, including boats, generators and cars and liked to “dabble” in guns.

Concannon told Millett that records showed he had bought 35 guns from Coastal Defense over the past six months.

Millett told the agent he had either sold or traded all of the guns he had bought recently from that gun shop, except for one rifle.

He told the agents he had been retired since age 45 and lived on Social Security income and sales of items.

He said gun sales was a “hobby” and that he had bought them for himself, but sold them after “getting sick of them,” according to the affidavit.

He said he’d sold most of the roughly 45 guns he’d bought in the past six months in an effort to earn a profit.

In late December, about a month after signing a document indicating he understood federal laws regarding requirements for selling firearms, Millett sold a Glock 42 .380-caliber pistol to an agent, who was equipped with electronic audio and video surveillance recording at Millett’s winter home in Florida for $450 in prerecorded currency, the affidavit said.

In January, an agent bought two Glock .40-caliber pistols from Millett in Florida.

After the hearing, Paradie said of his client’s activities, “For Mr. Millett, selling guns was a hobby and a way to earn extra income, just like his buying and selling boats and other items.”

U.S. District Court of Maine in Portland Christopher Williams/Sun Journal


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