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Navy reservist who brandished gun in 2017 incident in Maine gets probation

By JUDY HARRISON | Bangor Daily News, Maine | Published: February 7, 2019

(Tribune News Service) — A Navy veteran who last year admitted he brandished a pistol at four men in western Maine after a night out drinking was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District in Bangor to one year of probation.

Justin Woods, 32, of Arundel pleaded guilty in October to one count of simple assault, a federal misdemeanor.

Crimes committed on federal property, including the Navy's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School located in Redington Township, where this incident took place, are prosecuted in federal court.

Woods, who was a contract worker for the Navy assisting with a training exercise, did not fire the gun and no one was injured during the Aug. 28, 2017, incident, according to court documents.

He had been drinking at a social event in Rangeley with Navy trainers prior to the incident. Woods admitted exhibiting the gun after the car he was in stopped so occupants could talk with the victims who were in another vehicle on a road that accessed the training site.

The four victims were reasonably afraid and apprehensive that they could be harmed when Woods showed the weapon, according to the U.S. attorney's office.

As a result of the incident and the prosecution, Woods lost his job as a consultant, his attorney, Richard Berne of Portland, said in a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge John Nivison. Woods still serves in the U.S. Naval Reserves but is facing disciplinary action.

He has undergone counseling and stopped drinking, Berne said in the letter.

Woods faced up to six months in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Berne and Assistant U.S. Attorney James Moore jointly recommended the sentence imposed.

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