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Press Release

Bennington Man Charged with Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Gavin Wilcox, 31, of Bennington, Vermont was arraigned today on an indictment that alleges Wilcox unlawfully possessed a firearm on March 31, 2022.  At today’s hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle ordered Wilcox detained pending trial.

According to court records, Bennington Police Department investigators were attempting to locate a gray sedan on March 31, 2022.  During surveillance at a local business, a detective observed Gavin Wilcox exit a silver Subaru Forester and walk to another grey sedan while carrying a backpack.  The detective knew Wilcox to have an active arrest warrant. When officers apprehended Wilcox, he dropped 11 baggies of suspected heroin from his hand.  A search warrant was obtained for Wilcox’s backpack, during the execution of which detectives located a loaded Smith & Wesson Model 386 .357 magnum Pro Series revolver.  Wilcox’s criminal history includes felony offenses and a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence which prohibited Wilcox from possessing firearms under federal law.

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an indictment contains allegations only and that Wilcox remains presumed innocent until and unless he is convicted of a crime. Wilcox faces a maximum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment for unlawfully possessing a firearm.

United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the investigatory efforts of the Bennington Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations.  

The prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Ophardt.  Wilcox is represented by Kevin Henry, Esq. 

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.  See for more information.

Updated May 10, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses