The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Mark Caron, 53, of Burlington, was sentenced to twenty-five months imprisonment by United States District Judge Geoffrey Crawford. The term of imprisonment will be followed by a three-year period of supervised release by the U.S. Probation Office. Caron had previously pled guilty to possessing a firearm after having been convicted of a felony offense, in this case six prior felony offenses. The Indictment charged that three of the defendant’s six prior felony offenses were violations of state abuse prevention orders.
According to court records, on September 7, 2015, Caron stole a handgun from his son in Burlington and then traveled to the Swanton, Vermont residence of a friend of Caron’s ex-girl-friends. Once there, Caron accused the friend of having contact with Caron’s ex-girlfriend. The Government alleged that Caron then threatened to shoot this man while Caron was brandishing a firearm. The Government also alleged that Caron had previously threatened his girlfriend, stating he was going to “bash her head in.”
Caron had previously been sentenced in Superior Court in Franklin County to a 58-day sentence on a plea of guilty to a state charge of Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon relating to the September 7, 2015 assault. In choosing to prosecute the case federally, United States Attorney Eric Miller stated, “Domestic abuse and the illegal possession of firearms are a potentially deadly combination. When convicted felons – particularly those with a proven history of domestic abuse – illegally possess and use guns to threaten others, we will continue to pursue federal charges and enhanced federal penalties to protect Vermont’s communities.”
The United States Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have been working closely with the Vermont Attorney General’s Office to better coordinate the combined state and federal response to the particularly dangerous combination of illegal firearm possession and domestic violence. Vermont’s Attorney General, Bill Sorrell, lauded the state and federal cooperation that led to Mr. Caron’s federal conviction, “It's important that state and federal authorities work together to address domestic violence given the relatively high proportion of homicides in our state that are domestic-violence related. It's also important that we work together to enforce orders of protection, and to ensure those prohibited persons who violate state and federal law by continuing to possess firearms experience serious consequences for their behavior given the documented risk of lethality this poses for domestic violence victims.”
Mickey D. Leadingham, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s Boston Field Division, added, "Domestic violence with the threat or use of a firearm is something we take very seriously. We will continue to partner with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Vermont Attorney General’s Office to arrest and prosecute the individuals who commit these acts while being prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law."
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Swanton Police Department. The United States is represented by Joe Perella and Caron is represented by Steven Barth, Esq. of the Federal Public Defender’s Office.