SEATTLE — A man accused of stealing 26 handguns from FREDS Guns in Sequim, 13 rifles from a gun store in Bow and a boat motor and battery in Ferndale has been charged in federal court.
Joey A. Maillet, a U.S. and Canadian citizen, was charged by complaint with two counts of theft of a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee, specifically for two guns — one from each store — that had been shipped and transported in interstate and foreign commerce.
Maillet was charged Tuesday and court records were unsealed after he appeared in U.S. District Court in Seattle on Friday. The charges are punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison.
On Friday, he was ordered held in Federal Detention Center, SeaTac, until trial because of his “lengthy criminal record, including active warrants,” court records said.
According to the Department of Justice, only one of the 39 guns has been recovered.
Until last week, Maillet had been held in the Clallam County jail on state charges, but those charges were dismissed Wednesday to allow Maillet to be taken into federal custody.
Court records said that video and forensic evidence link Maillet to the April 13 burglary of FREDS Guns in Sequim and the May 3 burglary of All American Armory in Bow, Skagit County.
In both burglaries Maillet is accused of using a vehicle stolen from nearby — both of which had keys left in the vehicle — to smash into the stores, according to court records and interviews.
Special Agent Elliott Prose of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, wrote in the complaint that video shows a man crashing a large construction vehicle into the front of FREDS Guns and “rapidly removing … firearms” after he fell into a display and intentionally broke another.
“He at-tempted to jump over a display case that held some pistols,” Prose wrote. “The glass top of the display case shattered, and the male fell inside.”
Investigators collected blood and fingerprints, which all belonged to Maillet.
As investigators were still looking into the FREDS Guns burglary, All American Armory in Bow was burglarized after a truck was stolen from a nearby cheese farm and rammed through the front of the store.
Video showed a man backing the vehicle through the front door at about 2 a.m. May 3, and loading a trashcan full of 13 rifles before driving away.
State rangers impounded the vehicle the next day after it had been abandoned in Birch Bay State Park near Blaine.
In the truck they found a large sack of potatoes, several .40 caliber rounds, a gray trash can and an electric boat motor and battery.
On May 10, an officer in Ferndale encountered Maillet — who was not then a suspect in the gun store burglaries — and arrested him on a warrant related to a burglary in Everett. During the arrest, officers found a small amount of methamphetamine and a box of ammunition.
A backpack he had with him was stored for safekeeping.
The officer recognized Maillet as a man who appeared in surveillance footage and photos stealing a boat motor and battery at 2:58 a.m. May 3 — the same day as the Bow burglary. Bow is about 30 minutes away from where the boat motor and battery were stolen.
After officers showed Maillet a photo of him stealing the motor and battery, he admitted to being the person in the video, court documents said.
After forensic evidence linked Maillet to the FREDS Guns burglary, investigators searched his backpack and found price tags from All American Armory in Bow and a box of ammunition that was missing from the store.
Video from the All American Armory burglary shows that a man wearing the same clothes as the man who stole the boat motor and battery stole the guns, according to court records.
Maillet was transported from the Snohomish County jail to the Clallam County jail May 20 and investigators interviewed Maillet on May 31. After a few minutes, Maillet asked for an attorney.
“Joey A. Maillet claimed he did not know where Bow, Washington, was and said he did not have firearms,” the complaint said. “Joey A. Maillet admitted to stealing the boat motor, but said he did not do anything else wrong.”
The case is being investigated by the ATF, with assistance from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, Sequim Police Department, 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 with assistance from Clallam County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jesse Espinoza.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at email@example.com.