An Aroostook County man pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor to falsifying paperwork to obtain two AR-15 style weapons for individuals who tried to smuggle them into Canada.

Richard R. Hemingway, 22, of Ludlow pleaded guilty to providing false information to a federal firearms licensee and filling out a false firearms transaction record, U.S. Attorney Halsey B. Frank said in a statement.

Ludlow is a small town near Houlton and the Maine border with New Brunswick.

Hemingway told federal investigators that he committed the crime in exchange for receiving drugs, namely Oxycontin pills.

Hemingway, who was indicted on the charges in June, could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for making false statements to a federal firearms licensee. He will be sentenced following the completion of a pre-sentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

Hemingway went into Maine Military Supply in Holden, near Brewer, and purchased two AR-15 style rifles on Oct. 4, 2017, federal court records show.

At the time of the purchase, Hemingway falsely reported that he was buying the weapons for himself when in fact he was buying the guns for two other people.

Court records show that those individuals – a man and a woman – were apprehended at the Woodstock, New Brunswick, Port of Entry, also on Oct. 4, as they tried to smuggle the rifles – with high-capacity drum magazines, as well as ammunition and other firearms accessories – into Canada. The two were not fully identified in federal court documents.

Authorities said the weaponry was concealed in the bed of the individuals’ pickup truck. Each rifle was stored in a box and one of the boxes contained a receipt showing that the rifles were purchased by Hemingway at Maine Military Supply. Video footage from the store confirmed that Hemingway made the purchase. The Maine Military Supply website bills the store as Maine’s largest military and outdoor store.

An affidavit filed in court by Kostas Papadopoulos, an agent with Homeland Security Investigations, describes the firearms as a Windham Weaponry .300 Blackout Caliber AR-15-style rifle and a Sig Sauer .300 caliber AR-15-style rifle.

Hemingway told federal agents that he initially agreed to be paid $800 in exchange for his services, but later changed his mind, instead agreeing to accept 80 mg Oxycontin pills – valued at $800 – in exchange for purchasing the guns.

Frank said that the case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program aimed at reducing violent crime and making neighborhoods safe.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

[email protected]

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