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Press Release

Two Swanton Men Charged With Illegal Possession Of Firearms

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 yesterday the Grand Jury in Burlington returned indictments charging Jesse Sweet, 26, and Eric Raymond, 31, both of Swanton, with unlawful possession of firearms.  The investigation is being led by Vermont State Police, with assistance from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, as well as the Swanton Police Department and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department.  

Sweet is charged with possessing a Ruger .308 rifle while he was an unlawful user of controlled substances and after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.  Court records explain that in or about December 2021, Sweet traded a snowmobile for that rifle.  

Raymond is charged with possession of an Anderson Manufacturing AM-15 rifle after having been convicted of a crime punishable by a term of imprisonment exceeding one year.  Court records explain that on February 2, 2022, police observed Raymond driving an ATV toward the back portions of his Swanton residence.  Police followed those tracks, which led to footprints, which led to the firearm below an abandoned vehicle.

The indictments are accusations only, and both men are presumed innocent until and unless they are convicted beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Both men were arrested last Friday, February 11.  United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle has ordered that both men be detained pending trial.

Sweet and Raymond are scheduled to be arraigned on the indictments next Friday, February 25.  Sweet is represented by Steven Barth of the Federal Public Defender’s office.  Raymond is represented by Robert Behrens.  Assistant United States Attorney Michael Drescher is the prosecutor.  

These cases are being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Updated February 18, 2022

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses