The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Ira Flowers, 36, of Claremont, New Hampshire was arrested yesterday after having been indicted by a Vermont grand jury for possessing a 9mm semi-automatic pistol after having been convicted of multiple felonies. Flowers appeared before United States Magistrate Judge Andrea K. Johnston, in Concord, New Hampshire, and consented to his detention pending transfer to the District of Vermont.
According to court records, the charge in the Indictment stems from defendant Flowers’s possession of a firearm on January 6, 2019, at the Holiday Inn in Springfield, Vermont. Defendant Flowers and three others met in one of the hotel rooms to exchange thousands of dollars for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-infused products. During the meeting, Flowers brandished a 9mm pistol, and attempted to rob the seller of the THC products. A struggle ensued, and Flowers was stabbed in the neck, shot once in the leg (with the pistol he unlawfully possessed), and left in the hotel hallway bleeding profusely from his wounds. A search of the hotel room by the Vermont State Police resulted in the seizure of the 9mm pistol possessed by the defendant, as well as a single 9mm casing.
If convicted, Flowers faces a maximum of ten years of imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence however, would be determined by the Court with guidance from the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The United States Attorney emphasizes that the charge in the complaint is merely an accusation, and that the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until he is proven guilty.
United States Attorney Christina Nolan commended the investigative efforts of the Vermont State Police, as well as the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF). She stated: “Federal prosecutors in Vermont will show no tolerance for gun crime and violence in connection with the illicit drug trade, and prosecution of these crimes will remain the top priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. These principles apply with equal force to those who commit violent crime – such as robberies, burglaries, and gun offenses – in connection with the marijuana and THC trade.”
The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Ophardt. The defendant was represented in the District of New Hampshire by the Federal Public Defender