BANGOR — An Albion man pleaded guilty in federal court in Bangor on Tuesday to illegally purchasing handguns on five separate occasions in exchange for fentanyl and heroin.

Jason Palmer, 42, knowingly made false statements to a federally licensed firearms dealer in claiming that he was purchasing the firearms for himself when he was actually buying them for someone else, federal prosecutors said in a news release.

Palmer purchased the handguns from June to August of last year from a dealer in Fairfield, authorities said. He also falsely indicated on a federal form that he was not an unlawful user of illegal drugs. He acknowledged to investigators in an interview that he had been offered the fentanyl and heroin in exchange for purchasing the firearms, authorities said.

Palmer engaged in a straw purchase, which is when a person who is unable to pass a federal background check uses a proxy buyer to make the purchase instead.

He will be sentenced at a later date and faces up to five years in prison and a fine up to $250,000.

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