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Press Release

Burlington Resident Sentenced for Straw Purchasing Firearm

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

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Marissa Byrd, 30, of Burlington, Vermont, was sentenced yesterday to a two-year period of probation after her conviction for providing false or fictitious statements to a federally licensed dealer of firearms in connection with her acquisition of a firearm.  United States District Judge Christina Reiss announced the sentence following a hearing in the federal courthouse in Burlington.

According to court records, Byrd pleaded guilty to the offense on April 29, 2022.  The defendant acknowledged having purchased a firearm from Parro’s Gun Shop in Waterbury, Vermont in March 2021 at the request of another individual, who provided her money to complete the purchase.  After acquiring the handgun, Byrd transferred it to the other individual, whom Byrd knew was prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law.  As part of the purchase of the firearm, Byrd completed an ATF form falsely indicating that she was the actual purchaser of the firearm.  This type of offense is commonly known as “straw purchasing,” and it is punishable by up to ten years of imprisonment.

At the sentencing hearing, both the government and defense counsel recommended a probationary sentence in light of, among other things, Byrd’s prompt acceptance of responsibility for her offense and her performance on pretrial release during the pendency of this case.

United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the investigatory efforts of Homeland Security Investigations.  Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Lasher handled the prosecution. Byrd was represented by David Kirby, Esq.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.  For more information about Project Safe Neighborhoods, please visit

Updated August 19, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses