BURLINGTON — A Vermont Medical Practice Board investigator and a former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent have been charged with federal gun and tax violations.
Phil Ciotti, 56, of the medical board, was named in a six-count grand jury indictment Thursday. He faces charges of failing to keep required records regarding gun sales as a federal firearms licensee; failing to contact the national instant criminal background check system in connection with the sale of a firearm as well as filing false tax returns.
Richard Bernholz, the former ICE agent, agreed to plead guilty to filing a false tax return and aiding and abetting in the failure to keep adequate records by a federal firearms licensee.
In 2011, agents seized more than 500 guns from Ciotti’s St. Johnsbury home and more than 150 guns from Bernholz’s Franklin home. They said the guns were used in a Boston homicide and a Brockton shooting.
Ciotti’s defense lawyer, David Sleigh of St. Johnsbury, said his client plans to plead not guilty.
“There is a divergence of opinions for some time whether there was any criminal conduct,” he told the Burlington Free Press.
He said federal officials have singled out Ciotti for some reason.
A lawyer representing Bernholz didn’t return a phone message. No arraignment dates have been scheduled.MORE IN Vermont NewsSOUTH BURLINGTON — Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Milne is proposing using state funds... Full StoryMONTPELIER — Facing off in their last debate ahead of Tuesday’s midterm election, the top three... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1618, English author, poet, soldier, adventurer Sir Walter Raleigh is beheaded for conspiring to overthrow King James I, but more likely to mollify offenses to Spain. His executioner has to implore him for silence.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1492, Italian explorer, admiral of the ocean sea, Christopher Columbus, sailing for the Spanish crown, 'discovers' Cuba; on this day in 1964, U.S. officials deny American involvement in bombing North Vietnam.
- Video: Fire engulfs house on Pine Street
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1936, Mrs. Wallis Warfield Spencer Simpson, mistress of King Edward VIII, is granted her second divorce, enabling her to marry the king. The government, the Church of England and the London Times have another idea.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: V-2 No. 13, launched this day in 1946 from White Sands, New Mexico, takes first photographs of Earth from the edge of the planet's outer atmosphere; 1947: Walt Disney testifies before HUAC, names employees he says are communists.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Vermont's brand discussed at Killington, state's attorney candidates Marc Brierre and Rose Kennedy profiled, Curtis reports about Rutland police chief's new job, and four arrested, charged for heroin, crack sales.