An Augusta man is facing a federal charge of possessing a firearm — specifically an unregistered silencer “wrapped in camouflage-pattern tape” — and possessing a silencer without a serial number.

Ryan D. Merrill, 39, appeared at a detention hearing involving those charges Tuesday before Magistrate Judge John Nivison at U.S. District Court in Bangor and was ordered released on $5,000 unsecured bail. Merrill had been held in custody since his Sept. 19 arrest.

The charges carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison.

Conditions of release indicate he is to reside in Palmyra and must be accompanied when he leaves the residence except for appointments at the Togus veterans hospital, where he was ordered to resume treatment. He is prohibited from drinking alcohol, from driving, and from possessing firearms.

The government sought to keep Merrill detained pending trial, saying, “He used the silencer when he fired a rifle in a residential neighborhood on July 17, 2018. There is no evidence that he fired the weapon at any person. The defendant has, however, had contact with law enforcement in 2018 that causes concern and that should be considered by the United States Probation Office as it evaluates possible conditions for the defendant’s release.”

An entry in the Augusta police log noted that Merrill was issued a summons on a charge of discharging a firearm within city limits after suspicious activity was reported July 17 on Holly Hill Lane. On Sept. 10, he was fined $50 at the Capital Judicial Center in Augusta for that civil violation.

Attorney Logan Perkins was appointed to represent Merrill on the federal charges.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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