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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, November 22, 2021

Williston Woman Charged With Unlawful Handgun Possession During Road Rage Incident

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Grace Ross, 46, of Williston, Vermont has been charged by a federal grand jury in Burlington with unlawful possession of a firearm after having previously been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. The government is also seeking forfeiture of the seized Taurus 9mm pistol.

According to court records, on July 30, 2021 the Burlington Police received a report that the driver of a black Mazda, later identified as Ross, pointed a handgun at another vehicle which contained two adults and a baby. The incident occurred near Main Street and South Prospect Street in Burlington. According to the court records, Ross cut off another vehicle, nearly causing a collision. After the driver of the other vehicle honked the horn, Ross, who was then driving in front of the other vehicle, pulled a handgun out and pointed it at the other car through her rear window. Soon after, the Burlington Police Department pulled over Ross’s vehicle and seized the firearm. Ross was originally charged in state court with aggravated assault, though the state case was dismissed after the filing of federal charges. 

Ross pled not guilty to the charge. United States Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle ordered Ross released on conditions pending further proceedings in the case. 

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.  See https://www.justice.gov/psn.

The indictment is an accusation only. The defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The maximum sentence for the alleged offense is ten years of imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. If found guilty of the offense, the defendant’s actual sentence will be determined with reference to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.  

This matter was investigated by the Burlington Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella. Ross is represented by Michael Desautels, Esq. of the Federal Public Defender’s Office. 
 

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Component(s): 
Updated November 22, 2021