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Justice News

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

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Transient with Multiple Felonies Charged with Unlawful Possession of Rifle

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced today that a Malcolm Tanner, 52, of Burlington, Vermont has been charged by a criminal complaint with possessing a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle after having been convicted of multiple felonies.  Tanner appeared before United States Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy yesterday, and was detained pending a detention hearing on July 15, 2016.                             

According to the affidavit filed with the complaint, Burlington Police officers had numerous involvements with Tanner dating back to June 2016, after Burlington residents reported a disorderly man with a rifle.  Special agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), through coordination with the New Hampshire Department of Public Safety, determined that Tanner had been convicted of four felonies in the State of New Hampshire.  On July 13, 2016, ATF special agents observed Tanner on Riverside Avenue in Burlington, riding a bicycle with what appeared to be a rifle on his back.  The ATF agents stopped Tanner to examine the rifle, and determined the weapon to be a Sears Roebuck and Co. .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle, loaded with seven rounds of ammunition in its magazine.

If convicted, Tanner 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 complaint is merely an accusation, and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.

United States Attorney Eric S. Miller commended the investigative efforts of ATF and the support received from the Burlington Police Department.  

The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ophardt.  Tanner is represented by the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the District of Vermont.

Updated July 14, 2016