Source: US State of Vermont
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Christopher Mesick, 38 of Jeffersonville, was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury sitting in Burlington with being a felon in possession of a firearm and with being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm. Mesick was arrested on these charges on January 13, 2020 and was detained. Mesick waived his appearance yesterday at his arraignment before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy and Mesick’s defense attorney entered pleas of not guilty on his behalf.
According to a federal criminal complaint, on January 5, 2020, troopers with the Vermont State Police (VSP) conducted a welfare check on Christopher Mesick at his residence on Main Street in Jeffersonville. When troopers arrived at his residence, they observed Mesick unsteady on his feet and slurring his speech. Mesick made several threatening comments toward the troopers and was handcuffed for his safety and the safety of the troopers. During the interaction with Mesick, one of the troopers observed four rifles in the living room. The trooper recognized three of the rifles as AR-15 style rifles with bayonets attached. One rifle had a 50-round drum magazine inserted. Mesick is a convicted felon by virtue of a 2017 conviction for aggravated assault.
On January 13, 2020, VSP executed a state search warrant at Mesick’s residence. During the search, law enforcement recovered approximately 16 firearms, including several AR-15 and AK-style assault rifles. Law enforcement officers also located several cases of various ammunition, a footlocker full of knives and machetes, body armor and a few ounces of marijuana. Mesick told law enforcement he was a marijuana user.
If convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, Mesick faces a maximum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine. Mesick also faces a maximum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine if he is convicted of being an unlawful user of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm. The actual sentence, however, would be determined by the Court with guidance from the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges in the indictment are merely accusations, and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Vermont State Police, ATF and Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations (Plattsburgh Air Unit). This case is part of the Department of Justice’s Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program. PSN is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.
The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Fuller. Christopher Mesick is represented by Federal Public Defender Michael Desautels.