Cushing man arrested by feds for possessing guns

By Juliette Laaka | Jun 20, 2014
Photo by: courts.maine.giv U.S. District Court in Portland.

Portland — A 25-year-old Cushing man was arrested June 16 by federal agents after he was found in possession of two pistols he was keeping in his truck.

Joseph Dinapoli appeared in U.S. District Court in Portland June 18 for an initial appearance for violating a federal law that dictates an individual convicted of domestic violence assault will not be allowed to possess a firearm. An unsecured bond of $10,000 cash was issued June 19. He was also ordered to give up his passport, according to court papers.

The charge of possessing a firearm after conviction of domestic violence assault is a Class C felony, and is punishable up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, said court papers.

There is no state statute barring individuals from possessing firearms if convicted of domestic violence assault, but federal agents can enforce the law in a state without such a law.

Dinapoli pleaded guilty to domestic violence assault in 2008 for pushing his then-girlfriend while she was holding their child, according to court papers.

Dinapoli also threw the victim's shoes around the home when she was trying to leave, preventing her from getting a matching pair of shoes, said the affidavit.

The victim also told police about another incident in which Dinapoli had choked her.

Dinapoli was sentenced in 2008 to serve 180 days in jail with all but 21 days suspended.

Dinapoli was watched by agents because his girlfriend was being served a subpoena, and agents were assigned to conduct surveillance on him at that time, while Dinapoli was at his workplace in Rockland, said the affidavit.

When Dinapoli was caught by agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, he was rummaging around in his truck, and Special Agent Tyler J. Leighton saw him with two pistols cradled in his arms.

Dinapoli initially said the firearms were owned by his girlfriend, but later admitted the guns were his. He also admitted to knowing he was not allowed to possess firearms, said the affidavit.

Courier Publications' reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at

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