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Case Number: 2:20-cr-00063-cr
Judge: Christina Reiss
Court: United States District Court for the District of Vermont (Chittenden County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: Vermont Christina Reiss
Description: Burlington, Vermont criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with knowingly made a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm.
On July 22, 2021, Bridgette Lawlor, 34, of Bellows Falls, Vermont, was charged with one count of making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm.
On March 23, 2020, in connection with the purchase of a Ruger LCP .380 pistol, Lawlor completed an ATF Form 4473 at J&H Guns, a Federal Firearm Licensee located in Bellows Falls, Vermont. On the Form 4473, Lawlor indicated that she was the actual buyer of the firearm. In fact, Lawlor was buying the gun at the request of her then-boyfriend, Ferdinand Cruz. At the time of the purchase, Cruz was a felon, having been previously convicted in Connecticut of robbery, unlawful restraint, and felony sale of cocaine. On April 1, 2020, Lawlor picked up the firearm at J&H Guns and provided it to Cruz.
Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt commended the efforts of the Dover, Vermont Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives in the investigation and prosecution of Lawlor. “The straw-purchasing of firearms creates significant dangers to our communities, as it can facilitate the possession of firearms by violent felons. Those who are willing to lie and circumvent federal background-check requirements will be held accountable.”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Barbara A. Masterson handled the prosecution of Lawlor. Ian P. Carleton of Sheehey Furlong & Behm, P.C., represented Lawlor.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to two years of probation.