PORTLAND — A Turner woman charged with buying 55 guns for resale, including to people allegedly connected to a Los Angeles street gang, was released Tuesday to a drug recovery residence.

U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Karen Wolf signed off on an agreement between prosecutors and defendant Jennifer Scruggs, 35, who is facing 10 counts of making a false statement during acquisition of a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer. Each of those felony charges is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Scruggs was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond. Conditions of her release include confinement at a drug recovery center; no possession or use of narcotics or illegal drugs, for which she can be tested; no possession of firearms; and not having any contact with victims or witnesses in the case. She must also undergo substance abuse therapy and get medical or psychiatric treatment as directed.

Scruggs was arrested last week on the gun charges and appeared in federal court by videoconference Tuesday while being held in custody at an undisclosed location.

She waived her right to a hearing to challenge the government’s probable cause evidence underscoring the criminal charges against her.

Wolf sought to reassure Scruggs that she would get the help she needed to get her life “back on track.”


The judge said, “You seem sincere in your desire to get better.”

Wolf said Scruggs was young and has “your whole life ahead of you.”

She told the defendant she would need to work hard and is facing serious criminal charges.

Scrugg, wiping away tears, thanked the judge.

“I don’t want this life,” she said.

In an affidavit, a Lewiston police officer assigned to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as a task force officer, wrote that over a three-month period, ending in June 2022, Scruggs bought 55 guns from three different federally licensed gun dealers in Maine.


Court documents show Scruggs bought the guns from dealers in Auburn, Turner and Whitefield.

On the forms she signed during purchase, Scruggs had checked a box indicating she was buying the guns for herself and not for someone else.

In an August interview with agents, Scruggs said she used cocaine and crack regularly, according to the affidavit.

She said she had medical issues and bought the guns with cash and her 401(k) savings to leave for her son in case she succumbed to her illness and injuries from a car crash because it was a safer investment than leaving her money in banks.

She told the agents she kept all but two of the guns at her brother’s home. The two guns she had kept at her home had been stolen, according to the affidavit.

She said she and her boyfriend had driven to Los Angeles in June 2022 after her last gun purchase, because he had a construction job there.


But Scruggs’ brother told agents he wasn’t storing nor had ever stored guns for his sister, according to the affidavit.

He said he hadn’t seen her in six months.

In a follow-up interview with Scruggs in August, she said the guns had actually been stored with her boyfriend’s cousin and uncle, but didn’t know their names, according to the affidavit.

On Aug. 30, 2022, the Los Angeles Police Department recovered one of the 55 guns Scruggs had bought when responding to a negligent discharge complaint, according to the affidavit.

The suspect had fired the gun in the air “multiple times, reportedly yelling. ‘Crypts.'” A notorious Los Angeles-based street gang is known as the Crips.

That gun had been bought by Scruggs at an Auburn gun shop in May, according to the affidavit.

In October, during a third interview with Scruggs, she told an agent she had bought the guns for two other people who took the guns to California. They had told her which guns to buy “and that they were outfitting a gang in California, but she was not allowed to meet any of the gang members.”

Agents searched Scruggs’ Facebook messenger account where they found several exchanges, including photos of specific guns, with the two buyers directing her which guns to buy.

In February, an agent was notified that a gun Scruggs had bought in Turner in June had been recovered by the Los Angeles Police Department.

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