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Three charged with Maple burglary

Three men are facing felony charges in Douglas County Circuit Court for allegedly stealing nine firearms from a Maple home on Valentine's Day. Poplar 18-year-olds Raymond William Koivisto and Preston Joseph Coughlin, and Christopher Carl Gropper,...

Three men are facing felony charges in Douglas County Circuit Court for allegedly stealing nine firearms from a Maple home on Valentine's Day.

Poplar 18-year-olds Raymond William Koivisto and Preston Joseph Coughlin, and Christopher Carl Gropper, 25, of Duluth each face felony party to burglary and two counts of party to theft.

Koivisto remains in custody at the Douglas County Jail on a $500 cash bond. Coughlin was released on a $5,000 signature bond following his March 22 initial appearance. A warrant was issued for Gropper on March 28, the same date the complaint against him was filed.

According to the criminal complaint:

The three men entered a Maple home and opened the gun safe on Feb. 14 while the owner was at work. Nine guns, assorted ammunition and two jugs of coins, each holding about $300, were reported missing. The homeowner indicated his relative, Koivisto, was a suspect.

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Douglas County Sheriff's deputies recovered two of the stolen firearms in a Poplar apartment belonging to Koivisto and Coughlin. After turning himself in, Koivisto admitted to Deputy Jake Engleman that he gave Coughlin and Gropper the combination to the gun safe and drove them to the Maple residence while it was still dark. When he picked them up 30 minutes later, they came out with a large number of guns.

Koivisto told the deputy they planned to have Gropper sell the guns in Duluth. Coughlin kept two guns and they sent the rest with Gropper. After a few days of waiting, they realized he had been arrested in Duluth.

Koivisto told Engleman that he has a serious meth problem.

Coughlin admitted taking part in the burglary. He told detective Jeffrey Bethards that he and Gropper used gloves and masks, opened the safe and decided to take all the guns. He told Bethards they planned to sell the guns for cash or drugs.

If convicted, the men face a maximum penalty of 15 years imprisonment and a $50,000 fine for the burglary charge, and six years and $10,000 for theft charge.

Related Topics: CRIMEDOUGLAS COUNTY
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