Seattle – The suspect in the theft of nearly 40 firearms from two different gun stores was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 58 months in prison for two counts of theft of firearms from a federal firearms licensee, announced U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran. JOEY A. MAILLET, 39, pleaded guilty in February 2020. At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones ordered MAILLET to serve three years of supervised release following the prison term.
In May 2019, MAILLET was identified as the suspect in the April 13, 2019, burglary of Fred’s Guns in Sequim, Clallam County, and in the May 3, 2019, burglary of All American Armory in Bow, Skagit County. According to records filed in the case, forensic evidence, including blood and fingerprints, as well as surveillance video, link MAILLET to the crimes. In Sequim, MAILLET used a backhoe to ram the doors of the store and then broke glass display cases to steal 26 firearms. MAILLET cut his arm on the glass case and left blood and fingerprints at that scene. At All American Armory in Bow, surveillance video showed MAILLET used a stolen pick-up truck to back into the doors of the store, shattering them. MAILLET then used a garbage can, stolen from the neighboring post office, to load up 13 rifles from the store and drove away with them in the stolen pick-up.
The pick-up truck was ultimately found abandoned in Birch Bay State Park in Whatcom County, Washington. Shattered glass was in the truck bed, as well as a stolen boat motor and battery. The truck was reported stolen from an agricultural operation not far from the Bow gun store, and the boat motor and battery were reported stolen by a resident of Ferndale, Washington.
On May 10, 2019, a Ferndale Police Officer encountered MAILLET and arrested him on an outstanding warrant for an Everett, Washington, burglary. After obtaining a court-authorized search warrant, investigators determined items in MAILLET’s backpack linked him to the thefts at the Bow gun store. Additionally, video from the boat motor and battery theft clearly showed MAILLET was the thief.
As for the status of the guns, prosecutors noted in their sentencing memo: “To date, seven of the handguns have been recovered by law enforcement agencies in Canada. The government does not have the full information about these recoveries, but is aware that one was recovered from a woman arrested for theft in Vancouver, BC, and another was recovered from two men arrested in Calgary, AB, with about 250 fentanyl pills and several grams of methamphetamine.” None of the rifles taken in the Bow gun store burglary have been recovered.
Under the terms of the plea agreement, MAILLET is to pay restitution to both stores for the damages to the buildings and the value of the guns. MAILLET is also responsible for damages to the businesses from which he stole the truck and backhoe used in the burglaries. He also will pay restitution to the owner of the stolen boat motor and battery.
At the sentencing hearing, the owners of Fred’s Guns told the judge the burglary had severely impacted their business and their family’s sense of security and wellbeing.
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, Sequim Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Skagit County Sheriff’s Office, Ferndale Police Department, and Washington State Parks Rangers.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Erin H. Becker.
This article originally appeared on the Department of Justice Website HERE