Paris man denies federal felony gun charges from 2020 burglary


PORTLAND — A Paris man Monday denied two federal felony gun charges stemming from a 2020 burglary where three guns were stolen from a West Paris store.

Scott Irish, 42, of 25 Old Route 26, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court to charges of theft from a licensed firearm dealer and being a felon in possession of a firearm that were handed up by a recent federal grand jury.

Each charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Irish appeared in court via videoconference from a so-called “sober house” following his treatment at a residential recovery facility to which he was transferred in February while in federal custody.

Irish’s defense attorney, David Beneman, said Monday that his client is serving in a leadership position at the halfway house.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John H. Rich III told Irish at his February court appearance he could be released directly to the rehabilitation 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 had characterized Irish’s addiction as a “significant substance abuse problem.”

Beneman said Monday that Irish was “doing quite well” in complying with the terms of his bail.

Investigators said Irish reportedly stole three pistols from J & K Sporting Goods store at 112 Bethel Road in West Paris  Dec. 28, 2020. The burglar also took cash and other items, according to court documents.

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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