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 News
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.