A Winthrop man changed his plea Monday to guilty on two federal charges of lying to a firearms dealer.

Donald “Donny” Henderson, 33, is accused of making false statements on Feb. 28, 2017, while buying a Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380-caliber pistol from Audette’s Inc., located in Winthrop. The prosecution says he checked a box indicating he was not a user of marijuana when, in fact, he was. The allegation is repeated in the second count, which says Henderson purchased an SCCY model CPX-1, 9 mm pistol on March 2, 2017, also from Audette’s.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives prohibits the sale of firearms and ammunition to those who use marijuana because it remains illegal under federal law, even if state laws, such as Maine’s, allow medical and recreational marijuana.

The original indictment was dismissed, and those charges were replaced Sept. 14 by a charging document saying that Henderson made false statements to the firearms dealer saying he was the actual buyer of the two firearms when in fact he was not. The charges also say that at the time of the purchases, Henderson was an unlawful user of marijuana. The two charges carry maximum penalties of 10 years in prison. But under a plea agreement Henderson signed, he agreed to waive his right to appeal if his sentence “did not exceed 16 months.”

Henderson, who had been free on bail pending resolution of the charges, went into custody immediately after he pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Bangor. He is represented by attorney James S. Nixon. A sentencing hearing will be set later.

Henderson was one of five people indicted on firearms charges in April by a federal grand jury.


One of the others, Richard Quattrone of Augusta, pleaded guilty in August to lying to a dealer on March 10, 2017, to obtain a pistol from Audette’s.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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