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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, September 28, 2020

Indictment for Federal Firearms Offense Relating to Shooting at Texas Falls Recreation Area

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Brian Warner, 47, of Addison County, Vermont was arrested on September 24, 2020.  A federal grand jury indicted Warner for possessing a firearm having been previously convicted of a felony.

According to court records, the charge in the Indictment relates to Warner’s possession of a firearm at the Texas Falls Recreation Area in Hancock, Vermont, on or about August 1, 2020.  Warner shot his girlfriend in the leg with the firearm, a 9mm semiautomatic pistol with a high-capacity magazine.  Law enforcement learned of Warner’s unlawful possession of the pistol after his girlfriend sought medical treatment for her gunshot wound.  Warner was at the time prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law due to his felony record.

Warner pleaded not guilty to the Indictment at his arraignment before Chief U.S. District Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford on September 25, 2020.  Warner remains in custody pending a detention hearing on September 30, 2020. 

If convicted, Warner faces a maximum of ten years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.  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 charge in the indictment is merely an accusation, and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.

The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Spencer Willig.  The defendant is represented by the Federal Public Defender.

This case is part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws.  Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting firearm use and possession crimes; prioritizes prosecuting persons who make false statements when attempting to obtain firearms; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives concerning persons who attempt to obtain firearms illegally; coordinates responses to persons prevented from obtaining firearms for mental health reasons; and ensures the use of modern intelligence tools and technology to focus on the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.

For more information, please see https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.

Topic(s): 
Project Guardian
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated September 28, 2020