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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Plymouth Man Arrested and Charged with Making Online Threats and Assaulting a Windsor County Sheriff’s Department Officer

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Kevin Spear, of Plymouth, Vermont has been charged by criminal complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont with one count of making threats over the Internet and one count of assaulting a person assisting federal agents in the performance of official duties.  Spear is presumed innocent of these charges until and unless convicted following trial or guilty plea.

According to the criminal complaint, last week agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, working with the Windsor County Sheriff's Department and the Vermont State Police collaborated to execute a search warrant at the Plymouth, Vermont residence of Kevin Spear.  When uniformed law enforcement attempted to take Spear into custody, Spear head-butted a sergeant with the Sheriff’s Department, causing injuries.  In addition, the complaint alleged that Spear had made a series of threatening communications over the Internet over the last several months, including one or more directed at the CEO of YouTube. 

Court filings also show that during the search of Spear's residence last Tuesday, Agents found a semi-automatic assault-style rifle sitting uncovered on a bed next to a window overlooking the public area in front of Spear's residence, along with several high-capacity rifle magazines containing ammunition for the weapon.  Agents found approximately 270 additional rounds of ammunition for the weapon by the bed.  The online statements attributed to Spear included:  "im [sic] going to . . . kill as many people as i [sic] can haha want to join?"  A cell phone found in Spear's room had a user-assigned name of "I kill police for fun."

Spear had his initial court appearance in a telephonic hearing before United States Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy.  The United States requested that Spear be detained based on dangerousness.  Following argument on the motion, the Court ordered that Spear be remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal's Service.

United States Attorney Christina Nolan praised the teamwork of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers involved in the investigation and arrest.  She stated:  “As we approach National Police Week and continue to work together to promote justice and public safety during the pandemic, we should also keep at the front of our minds the heroism of law enforcement.  Law enforcement officers put themselves in harm’s way every day to protect us before the pandemic hit; now, our first responders are taking on additional risks related to virus exposure in order to keep us safe.  We will never tolerate assaults on our brave men and women in uniform, nor will we tolerate threats or other forms of violence in Vermont.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the matter in collaboration with the Windsor County Sheriff's Department, the Vermont State Police and the Ludlow Police Department.

Spear is represented by Maryanne Kampmann, Esq.  Assistant United States Attorney Michael Drescher is the prosecutor.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Updated May 5, 2020