San Juan men face felony charges for alleged break-in, weapons theft

Two San Juan Island men face felony charges for an alleged burglary and theft of a firearm from a home where surveillance cameras were installed in the wake of several earlier thefts.

On June 27, Paul E. Guard, 25, pleaded not guilty in San Juan County Superior Court to one count of first-degree burglary, a Class B felony, and to one count of theft of a firearm. He is slated to stand trial Aug. 4.

Two weeks earlier, 35-year-old Brian Flierl pleaded not guilty in Superior Court to first-degree burglary and theft of a firearm, and to second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm as well. He is also scheduled for trial Aug. 4; bail was set at $20,000.

Authorities claim the two men broke into a home in the Lampard Road area on the night of May 22 and, after searching from room to room, made off with a jar full of coins, a $20 bill and a 9-mm Glock handgun from a bedroom cabinet.

They were reportedly identified by footage from a surveillance camera, which the homeowners had installed on the heels of several earlier break-ins and thefts.

The two men were taken into custody at their respective homes May 23, the day after the alleged break-in. Authorities reportedly recovered the handgun from Flierl’s Friday Harbor apartment at the time of his arrest.

A Class B felony, first-degree burglary carries maximum penalties of 10 years in prison, a $20,000 fine, or both; however, the standard range of sentencing set by the state is 21-27 months for a first offense.

Flierl, a recent victim of a home invasion and assault himself, in which two masked men broke into his Linder Street apartment a year ago in mid-July, demanding prescription medication, has an extensive criminal history, including several recent felony convictions. Guard has no known criminal history or prior convictions, according to court documents.

— Scott Rasmussen


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