PORTLAND — A Paris man charged in federal court with stealing three guns during the break-in at a West Paris store last year was approved Thursday by a federal judge for transfer from jail to a drug rehabilitation facility.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III said Scott Irish, 42, of 25 Old Route 26, could be moved from Cumberland County Jail in Portland to a residential drug addiction recovery facility where he was enrolled in a monthlong rehabilitation program.

Irish had appeared in court Monday by videoconference from the jail, but that hearing was continued to Thursday to allow time for him to be screened by the facility.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Conley told the judge the owner of J & K Sporting Goods store at 112 Bethel Road strongly opposed any release of  Irish, citing “thousands of dollars” of merchandise and cash that was taken during the burglary.

Irish’s attorney, David Beneman, said the factors the court should consider in weighing his client’s release are twofold: whether his release would pose a flight risk and/or a danger to the community.

Rich said Irish could be released directly to the facility on $10,000 unsecured bond if he agreed to complete the drug program and participate in substance abuse and psychological therapy and counseling, have no contact with the owner of the store, possess no firearms, seek employment, and not have alcohol or illegal drugs for which he can be tested.

Rich said Irish has a “significant substance abuse problem.”

Irish is charged with theft from a licensed firearm dealer and being a felon in possession of a firearm. Both charges are federal Class C felonies, each punishable by up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

He reportedly stole three pistols from the store Dec. 28, 2020. The burglar also took cash and other items, according to an investigator’s affidavit.

When officers took Irish into custody, he was reportedly wearing one of the stolen guns on his hip. The other two guns, as well as drugs, were reportedly found in the van he’d been driving.

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