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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Vermont

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, June 3, 2022

Bennington Man Charged with Federal Drug and Gun Offenses

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Deven Moffitt, 32, of Bennington, Vermont, was charged today by criminal complaint with three federal felonies:  possession with intent to distribute controlled substances; possession of a firearm having previously been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison term of more than a year; and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.  

According to the affidavit accompanying the criminal complaint, on Wednesday, June 1, Moffitt fled as police tried to arrest him in connection with his prosecution by the Bennington County State’s Attorney relating to the 2019 murder of Jessica Hildenbrandt.  As Moffitt was trying to flee from police, a witness observed him place a bag inside a trash container.  A search of that bag revealed more than 3,000 bags of suspected fentanyl, and distribution quantities of powder and crack cocaine.  Within the bag, police also found two loaded handguns.  When Moffitt was apprehended, police also found that he was in possession of more than $16,000 in cash.

Moffitt is currently in the custody of the State of Vermont in connection with the murder charge.  The date of his initial appearance in federal court has not been set.

The complaint is an accusation only and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.  If convicted of all the charged federal offenses, Moffitt faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and up to lifetime incarceration.  If he is convicted, his federal sentence would be informed by the application of the United States Sentencing Guidelines.     

The case was investigated by Vermont State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Homeland Security Investigations; and the Bennington Police Department.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, 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.  https://www.justice.gov/psn

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated June 3, 2022