PORTLAND — A Paris man faces federal felony charges in a December break-in of a sporting goods store in West Paris where three guns were stolen.

Scott Irish, 42, of 25 Old Route 26, appeared Monday in U.S. District Court where he is charged with theft from a licensed firearm dealer and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Both charges are Class C felonies, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

According to an affidavit written by a special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, J & K Sporting Goods store at 112 Bethel Road reported a burglary occurred about 1:30 a.m. Dec. 28, 2020. Taken were several firearms, cash and other items.

Reportedly stolen from the store were: an FNH model FNX-45, which is a .45-caliber, semiautomatic pistol; an Honor Guard model Honor Defense, 9 mm semiautomatic pistol; and a Smith & Wesson, model M & P 9, which is a 9 mm semiautomatic pistol, according to the affidavit.

Oxford County Sheriff’s Office was first to investigate the burglary. The business had working surveillance cameras from which deputies were able to view a male suspect captured on video.

Local authorities identified the man in the video as Scott Irish and checked his last known address. Someone at that address said he wasn’t there but was driving a white van marked on its side with an unknown company name and sporting orange flashing lights on its roof.

A day later, authorities located Irish and the van in Oxford. He led officers on a short foot pursuit. As they attempted to take him into custody, they located one of the stolen guns in a holster on his hip, according to the affidavit.

He reportedly told officers during his arrest there were guns and drugs in a bag in his van and gave them permission to search the van for firearms. Officers found the other two guns, which were reported stolen from the store, in plain view in an open black bag on the front passenger, according to the affidavit.

Officers arrested Irish and interviewed him. During his arrest, officers found in his wallet receipts from Walmart in Oxford. He told officers he had gone there with others the morning of the burglary.

A Maine State Police trooper identified Irish in surveillance video from Walmart that morning, wearing clothes matching the person seen in the sporting goods store video.

Police discovered that Irish had been convicted of illegal possession of a firearm in 2017 in state court.

The agent who wrote the affidavit said an interstate firearms expert determined the guns weren’t made in Maine and had crossed state lines before they were stolen. For that reason, federal prosecutors have jurisdiction in pursuing charges.

On Monday, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John Rich III said Irish had waived his right to challenge the probable cause in his arrest. He continues to be held in jail while awaiting word of an opening at a residential drug addiction recovery facility. His detention hearing was postponed to Thursday, when that facility is expected to have accepted or rejected his request for a spot in its rehabilitation program.

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