News and Press Releases

Florida Woman Charged with Smuggling Firearms Purchased in Florida into Canada Through Derby Line, Vermont

October 26, 2012

Burlington, VT – The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that yesterday a federal grand jury, sitting in Burlington, charged Annette Wexler, 46, of Gibsonton, Florida, with various firearms offenses revolving around the alleged smuggling of firearms into Canada. The charges include conspiracy to make false statements to firearms dealers when purchasing firearms, illegally exporting firearms to Canada, and dealing firearms without a license. The Indictment also alleges that Wexler knowingly transported an illegal alien in Vermont. Wexler has pled not guilty to these charges and U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy released her on personal recognizance.

Specifically, the Indictment alleges that from July 2010 to April 2011, Wexler and a conspirator bought, with mostly cash, numerous handguns from multiple licensed gun dealers in Florida. In purchasing these guns, the Indictment alleges that Wexler and her coconspirator falsely stated on the ATF forms they were the true owners of the firearms when they were actually purchasing these firearms on behalf of a Canadian coconspirator. In addition, the Indictment alleges that on March 25, 2011, Wexler and a coconspirator traveled to Derby Line, Vermont with multiple firearms and transferred them to the Canadian coconspirator at the Haskell Free Library.

The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until she is proven guilty. If she is convicted, Wexler faces a maximum possible term of imprisonment of ten years. However, the actual sentence in the event of a conviction, will be determined pursuant to the advisory federal sentencing guidelines and the federal statutory sentencing factors.

The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella. Wexler is represented by Nancy Waples, Esq. of Burlington, Vermont. This case was jointly investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Homeland Security Investigations of the Department of Homeland Security. In addition, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and the Surete du Quebec provided assistance in this investigation.

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