PORTLAND — A federal judge sentenced an Auburn woman Monday to time served for giving a false residential address while buying a gun from a licensed dealer.

Andrea Duteau Androscoggin County Jail

Andrea Duteau, 43, pleaded guilty to the felony charge, which is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

U.S. District Court Judge D. Brock Hornby sentenced Duteau to the roughly four months she had spent behind bars at Cumberland County Jail, plus one year of supervised release.

Duteau said she struggled with drug addiction and planned to seek recovery programs and counseling once she’s released.

She added her two daughters are expected to provide her with a strong support system at home and her “integrity and perseverance” will help overcome her addiction.

She spoke via videoconference to the court Monday from the jail, accepting full responsibility for her criminal actions that were the result of “poor judgement,” she said.

Her attorney, Grainne Dunne, said Monday her client had encountered several hardships while serving her time because of COVID-19, which she contracted around the time of her arrest and for which she remained in isolation for most of her incarceration.

Dunne also noted the lack of programming at the jail that has prevented Duteau from getting the drug counseling she needs.

Judge Hornby agreed Duteau would benefit from being released, stating she is “unlikely to commit this crime again” and “more likely to get drug treatment outside” of jail.

The sentence Hornby imposed was outside the federal sentencing guidelines.

He stressed the seriousness of the crime, reminding Duteau of the importance of federal records that accurately track the sale of firearms.

According to Scott Hill, a task force officer with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Duteau bought two Taurus semiautomatic pistols on Jan. 14, 2020, from an Auburn pawn shop, which is a federal firearms licensee.

A Lewiston police detective recovered the guns, as well as paperwork and a receipt for the purchase that same day but not from Duteau, according to court records.

That detective then contacted Hill and reported the discrepancy.

Hill contacted the manager of pawn shop, who gave him the paperwork that had been filled out by Duteau. She’d given her address as 313 Turner St., Auburn.

Hill and a federal agent interviewed the landlord at that address, who said Duteau had moved out with her children about a year earlier.

Nearly two weeks later, during an interview with Hill and the Lewiston detective at the Lewiston Police Department, Duteau said her address was still 313 Turner St., Auburn, and that she’d stayed there the night before.

About a week later, Hill spoke again with the landlord at that address, who said Duteau had sent her a Facebook message shortly after her interview at the Lewiston Police Department telling the landlord she had lied about her place of residence to a federal agent and asked the landlord “not to speak to agents further if she were to be approached again.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Conley said Monday that Duteau’s efforts to get a potential witness to give false information compounded the criminal conduct.

Hornby said Duteau would forfeit the guns she purchased during the commission of the crime.

He wished her success in her recovery, but noted, “your substance abuse is going to be an ongoing struggle for you.”

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