BANGOR — A Caribou man with a criminal history that includes robbery remains jailed after his arrest this week on charges he illegally possessed firearms and made false statements in purchasing those firearms.
Edward James Wright, 38, made an initial appearance Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Bangor. He is being held at Penobscot County Jail pending a detention hearing on Friday.
If convicted, Wright faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine or both.
According to a criminal complaint filed this week, a search warrant was obtained for Wright’s Caribou apartment after he made out an application to buy a gun at Tracy’s Gun Shop in Caribou. A background check revealed Wright was convicted of unarmed robbery, a felony, in 1981 in Worcester County, Mass.
During the search, law enforcement officials obtained five weapons, including two .20-gauge shotguns, two .22-caliber rifles and a .38-caliber revolver.
Special Agent Brent McSweyn of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms wrote in the complaint that he had obtained copies of seven separate “statements of intent to obtain a handgun” made out by Wright and that Wright had answered “no” on each of the forms to the question, “Have you ever been convicted of a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year?”
According to McSweyn, Wright also is being investigated for making threatening telephone calls last August to Social Security Administration employees in Portland. According to the complaint, a hearing claims officer at the Portland Social Security office told McSweyn Wright called her Aug. 26, 1997, and said he had “a collection of Brownings” and that during the course of the conversation Wright’s speech became “disjointed, irrational and angry with a touch of hysteria.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail Malone said members of the Maine Violent Crime Task Force arrested Wright.
Malone said Wright “has told offiicals he has been in institutions” for mental health problems.
The possible history of psychiatric problems is being researched this week, according to Malone. Officials thought it best to arrest and detain Wright because of the potential for harm. Wright is buying and selling guns regularly, according to Malone.