WATERVILLE — Two men were arrested in Massachusetts in connection to the burglary last year of a pawn shop in downtown Waterville from which more than a dozen handguns were stolen, authorities announced Thursday.

Taken into custody were 20-year-old Damiean Marcial-Alexander, who authorities said is a resident of Waterville and also Springfield, Massachusetts, and 21-year-old Ryan Ansart of West Springfield, Massachusetts.

Waterville police announced the arrests in a news release but it did not say when the two men were arrested. Each is charged with a federal count of theft of firearms from a licensed firearms dealer.

Waterville police were involved in the investigation along with Springfield police and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

J.R.’s Trading & Pawn at 100 Elm St. was burglarized April 10, 2022, when two men wearing masks broke in through a front window. They used a hammer to break a glass display case to gather the guns, authorities said at the time.

Joseph Massey, Waterville’s police chief at the time, said shortly after the burglary that authorities were “very concerned that we have 14 handguns out there on the street that could be used in crimes.”


A criminal complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts said it was actually 15 firearms that were stolen: six revolvers and nine semiautomatic pistols.

State and federal authorities had executed a search warrant at Ansart’s residence in September. Several firearms were found there, including two of the guns taken from J.R.’s Trading, and Ansart was charged with several state offenses, including possession of a machine gun, the complaint said.

A cellphone confiscated from Ansart contained photographs that showed Ansart and Marcial-Alexander displaying the weapons stolen from J.R.’s Trading, according to the complaint, which was dated April 11.

ATF agents were able to identify Marcial-Alexander because one of the agents had interviewed him in July as part of a different investigation relating to firearms that were purchased in Springfield, the complaint said.

Marcial-Alexander lived across the street from J.R.’s Trading at the time the burglary occurred.

Authorities said the pair sold some of the guns in the weeks after the burglary.

Investigators relied on an informant, text messages between Marcial-Alexander and Ansart, and Marcial-Alexander’s Instagram messages to further implicate the pair, the complaint said.

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