West Haven Man Charged with Unlawful Firearm Possession
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Vermont
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced today that Michael Brillon, 59, of West Haven, Vermont was arrested yesterday for unlawfully possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. A criminal complaint was filed today in United States District Court, and Brillon is expected to have his initial appearance this afternoon.
According to court records, a collaborative stolen property investigation of the Winhall, Wilmington, Fair Haven, and Bennington Police Departments and the Vermont State Police resulted in the execution of a search warrant at Brillon’s property in West Haven yesterday morning. During the investigation, local law enforcement learned that Brillon was alleged to possess firearms and had been making threatening statements. Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations were asked to assist in the search. The search resulted in the seizure of a SAR Arms 9mm semi-automatic pistol, two rifles, and a large quantity of marijuana consistent with an intent to distribute. Brillon has a long criminal history that includes felony convictions for sexual assault on a minor and aggravated domestic assault. Those convictions prohibit Brillon from possessing firearms.
The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that a criminal complaint contains allegations only and that Brillon remains presumed innocent until and unless he is convicted of a crime. Brillon faces a maximum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment.
United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the investigatory efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Winhall, Wilmington, Fair Haven, and Bennington Police Departments and the Vermont State Police, and the assistance of the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations. Kerest added, “this case exemplifies the greatest strength of Vermont law enforcement – their willingness and ability to work collaboratively for the good of Vermonters.”
This case is 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 https://www.justice.gov/psn
The prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Ophardt. Brillon is represented by Richard Bothfeld, Esq.
Updated January 7, 2022
Project Safe Neighborhoods