Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Cortani stands in FREDS Guns near Sequim after someone used heavy equipment to break into the store in this file photo. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Clallam County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Cortani stands in FREDS Guns near Sequim after someone used heavy equipment to break into the store in this file photo. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Law enforcement: Arrest made in break-in at FREDS Guns

DNA evidence said to have linked suspect to firearms theft

PORT ANGELES — Forensic evidence left during the brazen burglary of FREDS Guns near Sequim has led to the arrest of a man who was recently booked into the Snohomish County Jail on an unrelated warrant.

Clallam Chief Criminal Deputy Brian King said the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office arrested Joey Anthony Maillet, 38, on Monday and that he will appear in Clallam County Superior Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Maillet was expected to be booked into the Clallam County jail for investigation of 26 counts of theft of a firearm, burglary and malicious mischief, King said. He had not been booked as of 5 p.m. Monday.

“I’m just really happy they caught him and I’m really pleased with the Sheriff’s Office and the ATF,” said Seth Larson, who owns FREDS Guns. “It’s a weight off my shoulders.”

Larson said he hopes the courts “make an example of this guy.”

Maillet had been booked into the Snohomish County jail on Friday on a warrant related to a second-degree burglary charge, unrelated to FREDS Guns.

King said that when the DNA was examined at the State Patrol’s crime lab, law enforcement had hits for Maillet in two states because of his criminal history. The first “hit” was discovered on May 9 and the second was found May 10.

On May 17 law enforcement compared fingerprints from a gun case at FREDS Guns and they were a match, King said.

He said Maillet also uses the middle name “Antoine” and that he is believed to hold dual citizenship in Canada and the United States.

He has arrests in Washington, Massachusetts, Montana, California, Florida, Missouri, Louisiana and New Hampshire.

Federal court records show that Maillet was cited twice in 2017 for crossing the United States’ northern border illegally, once in Washington and once in Maine.

He said law enforcement have been monitoring Maillet for “a week or so,” through the courts. Maillet was in Whatcom County last week facing charges for third-degree theft and possession of meth, before he was transferred to the Snohomish County jail on the second-degree burglary warrant.

“At this point … we’re still investigating what ties, if any, he has to Clallam County,” King said. “We don’t have any local record at all regarding him.”

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office has investigated the April 13 break-in with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after someone drove an agricultural loader through the front of FREDS Guns and stole 26 handguns.

Those guns have not yet been recovered, King said.

“No guns have been recovered,” he said. “We don’t know where the guns are at this point.”

He said the arrest was made strictly on the forensic evidence. Fingerprints and blood were left at the scene.

For now the case will be handled at the state level, but federal and local prosecutors are expected to discuss who will take the case in the coming days, King said.

“We’ll be having those conversation in the days and weeks following as to whether the prosecution will be federal,” King said.

ATF Spokesperson Jason Chudy said more information about the arrest will become available in the coming days.

“We’re happy that someone has been arrested,” Chudy said. “It shows the hard work the investigators and the county have done.”

Earlier this month FREDS Guns released surveillance video showing the burglary.

The video shows a man wearing a hoodie running into the gun store and stealing guns from a case on the south side of the store at 261340 U.S. Highway 101.

Two minutes after ramming through the front of the store the man goes back into the front loader, backs it up and turns back toward U.S. Highway 101. The vehicle, stolen from Leitz Farm Supply’s nearby hay barn, was found abandoned on Atterberry Road.

The investigation has involved investigators from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, Sequim Police Department, Olympic Peninsula Narcotics Enforcement Team, ATF and State Patrol.

“This really exemplifies the cooperation that exists between law enforcement … across our state and with our federal partners,” King said. “There’s still much more work to be done, but this is a good step in the right direction as we look to recover some of these guns.”

________

Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsuladailynews.com.

Heavy equipment was used to break into FREDS Guns in April, causing the damage seen here in this file photo. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

Heavy equipment was used to break into FREDS Guns in April, causing the damage seen here in this file photo. (Jesse Major/Peninsula Daily News)

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