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Press Release

Sean McKinnon Sentenced To 96 Months For Theft Of Twelve Handguns From R&L Archery In Barre

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Sean McKinnon, 29, of Montpelier, was sentenced today for stealing 12 handguns from R&L Archery on March 15, 2015. United States District Judge William K. Sessions III sentenced McKinnon to 96 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Sessions also ordered McKinnon to pay restitution in the amount of $3,790 to R&L Archery and its insurance carrier for costs associated with the burglary.

According to court records, in the pre-dawn hours of March 15, 2015, McKinnon stole a Jeep from a Montpelier car dealership and drove to Barre, where he used a pry bar to forcibly enter R&L Archery, a federally-licensed firearms dealer. Once inside, he broke into a display case and stole twelve .22 caliber handguns. From there, McKinnon drove to Hartford, Connecticut where he traded the handguns to a drug dealer for heroin and cocaine, returning to Vermont within hours of the burglary. Two days later, federal and local law enforcement executed a search warrant at McKinnon’s Montpelier apartment, where they recovered a 20-gauge shotgun, approximately 45 bags of heroin, drug paraphernalia, several pry bars, and ammunition. During an interview with law enforcement on that day, McKinnon admitted to the R&L Archery burglary, and stated that he had traded the firearms for guns in Hartford. He further admitted that he had traded guns for drugs on previous occasions with the Connecticut drug dealer. McKinnon stated that among the previous trades was an SKS assault rifle, a .380 caliber handgun with a laser, and several other pistols.

The Hartford, Connecticut Police Department recovered one of the stolen handguns during an August 2015 car stop. The other eleven handguns have not been recovered.

Daniel Kumor, ATF Special Agent in Charge, Boston Field Division, noted the effect gun store burglaries has on communities. “The theft of firearms from a federal firearms licensee is a serious threat to public safety and this sentence today sends the message that it will not be tolerated. Firearms trafficking continues to be a top priority for ATF and our law enforcement partners, and we are committed to identifying and disrupting the sources of illegal firearms.” As U.S. Attorney Miller noted, “this case involved a convicted felon burglarizing a gun store and trafficking over a dozen firearms from Vermont to Connecticut, where they were traded for heroin and cocaine. Working with our state and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to aggressively prosecute those who illegally place guns in the hands of drug dealers.”

This matter was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, with the assistance of the Barre City, Barre Town, Montpelier, and Hartford, Connecticut Police Departments. The prosecution was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin J. Doyle. McKinnon was represented by Elizabeth K. Quinn of the Federal Defender’s Office.

Updated January 4, 2016