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Justice News

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

Monday, December 19, 2016

Mentally Defective South Burlington Man Charged with Possession of a Firearm

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that on December 15, 2016, at the intersection of Shelburne Road and Prospect Parkway, federal and local law enforcement authorities arrested a twenty-year-old South Burlington man, Randy McEntee, for the unlawful possession of a 9 mm pistol and related ammunition. McEntee, who has been diagnosed with significant mental health and developmental issues, has been under the legal guardianship of his mother, also of South Burlington, since May 2014, and is therefore prohibited by federal law from possessing any firearms or ammunition.

Later on December 15, the defendant appeared in District Court in Burlington before Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy and entered a plea of not guilty to the federal complaint charging him with the unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition by a mentally defective person. On December 19, following a hearing, Magistrate Judge Conroy ordered the defendant detained.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement became aware of McEntee after a series of threats and online activity was reported. Thereafter, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives commenced an investigation that includes the preservation of several Facebook posts and photographs wherein McEntee documented his enjoyment of handguns and shooting.

On December 15, agents from ATF observed McEntee ride his bicycle from his home on Farrell Street to Shelburne Road. With the assistance of members of the South Burlington Police Department, law enforcement detained McEntee, and ultimately recovered a loaded Hi-Point pistol, 9 millimeter Luger, from inside McEntee’s pants pocket.

Immediately following the defendant’s arrest, federal ATF agents executed a search warrant on the defendant’s home that he shares with his mother and legal custodian. Inside the home, fifty rounds of 9 mm ammunition were recovered from what is believed to be his mother’s bedroom, one loose 9 mm round was recovered from what is believed to be McEntee’s bedroom, and thirty-two rounds of 9 mm ammunition and a Hi-Point firearm box were recovered from a drawer in what is believed to be McEntee’s bedroom.

If convicted, McEntee faces up to ten years of imprisonment. 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 charges in the complaint are merely accusations 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 Abigail Averbach. Randy McEntee is represented by the Office of the Federal Public Defender. The case is currently under investigation by federal ATF agents.

Firearms Offenses
Updated December 19, 2016