PORTLAND — The Biddeford man arrested Sunday after a traffic stop and police seizure of his arsenal of weapons now faces federal charges.
Timothy Courtois, 49, has been charged with one count of making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm and two counts of possession of firearms by an unlawful user of controlled substances, U.S. Attorney Thomas E. Delahanty II announced Tuesday afternoon.
Courtois was arrested in York on July 22 after a Maine State Police trooper clocked his Ford Mustang traveling 112 mph in the southbound lanes of the Maine Turnpike. Other motorists had called police to report the vehicle was speeding southbound on the turnpike with its hazard lights flashing.
According to the U.S. attorney’s press release, state police found a substance believed to be “K2,” a synthetic form of marijuana, in Courtois’ car.
Also inside the car, police found an AK-47 assault rifle, four handguns and several boxes of ammunition, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said Monday afternoon.
After Courtois’ arrest, police executed a search warrant at his home at 344 Elm St. in Biddeford and uncovered more guns, including a machine gun, rifles, handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition.
One of those guns was a .223-caliber rifle purchased from Cabela’s in Scarborough on July 20. That purchase led to the federal charges because Courtois said he was not a user of controlled substances when he bought the rifle, even though he was using both marijuana and K2, according to federal investigators.
Also in Courtois’ car, police found newspaper clippings about the mass shooting Friday during a showing of the new Batman movie at a Colorado movie theater, according to McCausland.
Courtois told police he had attended the Batman movie at the Cinemagic Theater in Saco on Saturday night with a loaded gun in his backpack and that he was on his way Sunday to Derry, N.H., where he planned to shoot a former employer, McCausland said.
“He didn’t speak to any intent to harm people [at the theater], but I’m sure a lot of this is going to continue to come out” as agencies including the state police, FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives continue their investigations, Maine State Police Lt. Kevin Donovan said Monday.
“We don’t know what his true intentions were” when he brought the gun to the theater, and investigators are trying to determine his reasons for doing so and for having a large collection of firearms, McCausland said.
Courtois faces a maximum imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 on each of the federal charges. His appearance in federal court has not been scheduled, but he will appear in York District Court at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 23 on state charges of having a concealed weapon and criminal speeding.
Donovan said Monday that police checks haven’t revealed any criminal history in Courtois’ record.
Courtois was still in York County Jail on Tuesday evening. At his initial court appearance Monday afternoon, his bail was set at $50,000 cash or $150,000 real estate, with provisions that he not use or possess alcohol, drugs or dangerous weapons.