DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Maine

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Halsey B. Frank
, United States Attorney
Contact: Darcie N. McElwee

Lincoln County Man Sentenced to Over 4 1/2 Years on Gun Charge

Portland, Maine:  United States Attorney Halsey B. Frank announced that Michael Burns, 34, of Dresden, Maine, was sentenced today in U.S. District Court by Chief Judge Nancy Torresen to 55 months in prison and three years of supervised release for possession of a firearm by a felon. Burns pleaded guilty to the charge on November 2, 2017.

According to court records and evidence presented at the sentencing hearing, in 2016, Burns borrowed a .22 caliber rifle from a neighbor. He kept the rifle in his home.  On August 28, 2016, during an argument, Burns attempted to strangle his live-in girlfriend while her minor child watched. Burns then grabbed and loaded the rifle and threatened to “blow his [own] head off” in front of his girlfriend and her child.

Burns was prohibited from possession the firearm because he had prior Maine felony convictions for illegally possessing firearms, theft, and aggravated assault.  At the time of the offense, Burns was on probation for a domestic violence related aggravated assault on another former girlfriend. 

The investigation was conducted by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.  This case was brought as part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program that has been historically successful in bringing together all levels of law enforcement to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.  Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made turning the tide of rising violent crime in a America a top priority.  In October 2017, as part of a series of actions to address this crime trend, Attorney General Sessions announced the reinvigoration of PSN and directed all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to develop a district crime reduction strategy that incorporates the lessons learned since PSN launched in 2001.

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Field Division: Boston Field Division