January 15, 2013

Quebec man sentenced for illegal gun purchase in Augusta

By Craig Crosby ccrosby@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

A Quebec man was sentenced to more than a year behind bars after he lied to purchase firearms in Augusta last year, authorities said. 

Jeremy Gertsch, 35, of Oka, Quebec, was sentenced to nearly 16 months in prison Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor. Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. also sentenced Gertsch to three year of supervised release.

Gertsch pleaded guilty in September 2012 to making false statements in connection with the firearms purchase, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail Malone said in a release.

Gertsch rented a room at an Augusta hotel in January 2011 and then acquired a Maine driver's license, listing the hotel's address as his home. Gertsch then used the license to purchase eight handguns from four dealers in the Augusta and Waterville area, Malone said. Six of the handguns were semi-automatic.

Gertsch took the guns to Boston's South Station, where he purchased a one-way ticket to Montreal.

Gertsch was indicted in September and arrested in Canada in early October. He was extradited back to the United States, where he has remained in custody.

Woodcock sentenced Gertsch to time served, or just less than 16 months, and ordered him to return to Canada and not re-enter the country without permission from the U.S. Probation Office.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated the case with help from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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