A Lubec man has pleaded guilty in federal court to breaking into a Machias hardware store and stealing three handguns.
Jeremy C. Lyons, 29, also pleaded guilty to retaliating against a witness and witness tampering, according to federal court documents.
Lyons’ sentencing has not yet been scheduled.
Under federal law, he faces up to 20 years on the witness retaliation and tampering charges and 10 years on the charge of stealing guns from a licensed firearms dealer. He also faces a maximum fine of $250,000 and three years of supervised release.
As part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors, Lyons has agreed not to appeal any prison sentence that exceeds 46 months.
Lyons forced open a window at Pineo’s True Value on the early morning hours of Oct. 15, 2021, crawled inside and broke into a gun display case, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. He stole three Colt handguns and then left the same way he entered, spending only about 40 seconds inside the store.
Police believe the guns later were traded for cocaine at a home on Beal Street in Machias.
That house was being used by alleged drug dealers who have since been charged in the Nov. 4, 2021, killing of Brandin Guerrero. It was not clear from court documents if the stolen firearms later were used in Guerrero’s shooting.
Lyons was recorded by surveillance video inside and outside the store during the burglary. His face was not visible in the video, but police identified him as a suspect after finding his DNA on a Gatorade bottle that the burglar appeared to have with him in the video and which was later found in a mowed field next to the store.
Lyons also was recorded by the store’s security cameras scoping out the firearms several days earlier when he visited the store during business hours, according to ATF investigators.