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Two charged with stealing guns from Powell home

Two young Powell men have been charged with counts of burglary in connection with the thefts of a number of firearms and other items from a rural Powell residence last month.

Police say the thefts are loosely connected to an altercation last week where a stolen pistol allegedly was used to threaten a Powell man and fired. However, the pistol recovered in that incident is alleged to have been stolen from a different residence earlier this month.

John T. McCarthy Jr., 20, and Luke C. Cannon, 18, made their initial appearances in Park County’s Circuit Court in Cody on Wednesday morning. Each is charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and aggravated burglary — all felony charges.

The burglary count is “aggravated” because it involves firearms.

Cannon and McCarthy are alleged to have broken into a Lane 11 residence on two separate occasions between March 15 and March 30; that’s the time between when the home’s caretaker last visited the residence and when he discovered the break-in on March 30.

Law enforcement officials say the investigation into the burglaries and shooting has become part of a broader investigation involving other criminal offenses; the Park County Sheriff’s Office and Powell police have cooperated extensively on the cases.

“There are going to be some other charges that we’re just starting to put together,” said Deputy Park County Attorney Tim Blatt.

Cannon and McCarthy were arrested separately on Monday.

“Mr. Cannon, I think you understand at this point, this is a big deal,” said Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters in setting Cannon’s bond at $50,000. Cannon was allowed to post a surety bond as part of an agreement between his attorney, Bill Simpson of Cody, and Blatt, for reasons disclosed to the judge but not revealed in open court. While out on bond, Cannon must wear an ankle monitor, avoid all contact with the other individuals involved in the case, stay in Park County and check in with police, among other conditions. Being out on bond will allow Cannon, a senior, to continue attending Powell High School, Simpson said.

McCarthy’s bond was set at $50,000 cash only. He had asked Waters to have his bond set low enough so he could continue his job at a Powell convenience store. McCarthy said he lives with his cousin and two sisters, who need his help to pay bills.

“I fear if I’m not able to work that they will struggle to get bills paid without my income,” he said, adding later as to his risk of flight, “I have nowhere to go.”

Waters rejected McCarthy’s request.

“The theft of multiple firearms from a residence, that’s a serious danger to the community,” the judge said, also noting that McCarthy was currently out on bond for failure to appear for a prior charge.

“Guess what — your sisters are on their own,” Waters said.

In separate proceedings Wednesday morning, the only individual charged so far in last week’s shooting — 19-year-old Sage Miears of Powell — waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing. A hearing will be scheduled for a later date on the charge of aggravated assault and battery.

Miears is alleged to have pointed a pistol stolen from a different residence at the head of another man behind a West Second Street apartment early on April 6; an unknown individual fired the gun after the other man — who knew Miears — tackled and began hitting Miears. No one was shot or seriously injured, police say.

Two individuals were reportedly with Miears during last week’s shooting. Blatt said suspects have been identified and aggravated robbery charges were pending.

Miears spoke to Park County Sheriff’s Lt. Dave Patterson about the burglaries shortly before his arrest last week, court documents say. Miears allegedly said he, Cannon and McCarthy had been discussing ways to get money earlier this year when Cannon suggested that it would be easy to steal items from the Lane 11 residence. The homeowners told Patterson that Cannon had done work for them in the past.

Court documents in the cases say 11 firearms were stolen in the burglaries of the home and indicate other items, including silverware and a safe, also were taken; McCarthy is alleged to have given the silverware to his then-girlfriend.

According to McCarthy, Miears and a fourth individual also participated in both burglaries, says Patterson’s affidavit. As of Wednesday, however, neither Miears nor the other man had been charged in connection with the burglaries.

Another individual —also not currently charged — is alleged to have been selling the stolen guns in Powell.

Blatt said police are currently looking for other people.

(Editor's note: This version of the story corrects that the pistol recovered after an April 6 gunshot in Powell was not stolen in the two burglaries referenced in the story. It also corrects that Miears waived his right to a speedy preliminary hearing, rather than waiving his right to the hearing itself.)

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3 comments

  • posted by Tanner cannon

    September 30, 2012 11:42 pm

    It is amazing how my brother is sitting prison because two rats said his name. Apparently no physical evidence is needed to convict someone in the wyoming court. And my brother isnt a coward this case was ridiculous.

  • posted by Rick P.

    April 19, 2011 2:47 am

    Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty? This article makes it seem as though these people have already been convicted.
    Also, the one individual who fired the stolen weapon isn't being charged for this crime, why is that?
    Furthermore, It favors one of the suspects more than the other. That's the price Mr. McCarthy has to pay for having no financial support (to pay a lawyer) to help him prove his innocence. (And for the record, his prior charge was for a LITTERING ticket, an extremely non-violent crime).
    I know him on a personal level, so my opinions may be bias, but he is a good person, a loving father, and a brave man who has served this country in the United States Army. I just pray that he will get the fair trial that he deserves.

  • posted by L Broadway

    April 16, 2011 2:18 pm

    These are my parents life-long friends, starting a gas station business in Twin Falls, Idaho in the 50's then moving to Nevada in the early 60's. They are a hard-working couple who eventually owned Texaco gas stations on the "strip" in Vegas. They have suffered incredible losses in spite of their success, having lost 2 of their 3 children.
    What a cowardly bunch of kids these are. Who influenced them to be so cruel and thoughtless? My heart goes out to my friends. I'm so sorry for your loss, and I love you!

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