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 NewsMONTPELIER — New management plans for a vast section of Vermont’s remote Northeast Kingdom — an... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: In 1944, U.S. begins B-29 bombing raids on Japanese main islands; in 1950, Great Appalachian Storm begins to form; 1963, Lee Oswald killed by Jack Ruby; 1974, D.B. Cooper hijacks Seattle-bound airliner; 1974, 'Lucy' found.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, striking Colo. miners attacked with machine guns by state police; 1877, Thomas Edison announces invention of the phonograph, 1959, Alan Freed fired by WABC 770 AM for accepting payola to promote records.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln delivers short speech in Gettysburg, Pa.; in 1984, a Pemex LNG facility destroyed by series of gas explosions, 600 people are killed; in 1998, Senate builds fire under Bill Clinton.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1831 – Independent South American super-state, Gran Colombia, dissolved; 1856 - Fort Buchanan built to control Apache warriors; 1970 - William Calley Jr. goes on trial after 1968 massacre at My Lai, Vietnam.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Wisconsin Sen. Joe McCarthy takes advantage of Cold War jitters and builds a tidy little fiefdom for himself on Capitol Hill. It's all good, but pride goes before you know darn well what. The junior senator is damaged going down.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1927, Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in control of the Soviet Union; in 1970, Oregon DOT tries to dynamite a dead whale off a beach with a rather shocking result.