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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Maine

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Augusta Man Pleads Guilty to Firearms Charge

Bangor, Maine:  United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Ryan D. Merrill, 39, of Augusta, Maine, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to possessing an unregistered silencer.  Merrill was indicted in October 2018.

According to court records, on July 17, 2018, officers with the Augusta, Maine police department (APD) responded to a complaint of gunshots in a residential area.  Merrill had been firing a .22 caliber rifle at a fox and at small propane tanks behind his home.  Officers discovered that Merrill had modified an automotive oil filter and attached it to the muzzle of the rifle using a special adapter in order to suppress the sound of rounds he fired.  Merrill had not registered the silencer in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and he knew that the possession of the silencer was prohibited by federal law.

The case was investigated by Augusta Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  It is being prosecuted as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN).  PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proved to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Component(s): 
Contact: 
F. Todd Lowell Assistant United States Attorney Tel: (207) 945-0373
Updated April 23, 2019