A Jeffersonville man, who got a deferred prison sentence for aggravated assault in Chittenden County two years ago, has been jailed after authorities found 16 firearms, including several high-powered assault rifles, at his residence, federal court records show.
Christopher Mesick, 37, of Main Street thought he was allowed to possess firearms because the deferred sentence agreement would wipe the felony assault conviction from his criminal record, authorities said.
He remains on state probation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Fuller said.
Mesick is also prohibited from possessing firearms because he uses illegal drugs, Fuller and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said in federal court papers.
Fuller has asked that Mesick be held until the court rules because he’s both a danger to the community and a flight risk. A detention hearing was planned today, Thursday, in federal court in Burlington.
Mesick said, “I’m going to shoot you,” when he pointed a gun at another person in the Burlington assault case two years ago, Fuller said, and then resisted arrest when police responded.
The ATF said it found 16 firearms during the court- ordered search at Mesick’s residence on Monday.
Vermont State Police said they were asked initially to check on Mesick’s well-being on Jan. 5, ATF Special Agent Tam Vieth said in a court affidavit. He said police found Mesick unsteady on his feet, slurring his speech and making threats towards the state troopers. For his and the troopers’ safety, Mesick was placed in handcuffs.
During the visit, one state trooper noticed four rifles in the living room, and three were AR-15-style rifles with bayonets, Vieth said.
One had a 50-round drum magazine inserted, the agent wrote.
An investigation then showed that the felony assault conviction was still on Mesick’s record and he could not legally possess any weapons, the ATF said.
The troopers subsequently applied for a state search warrant, and conducted the search on Monday. Besides the 16 firearms, investigators found several cases of ammunition and a few ounces of marijuana in plain view, Vieth said.
During a police interview, Mesick said he was a daily user of marijuana. He also acknowledged his previous felony conviction for aggravated assault, “but because he received a deferred sentence on the conviction, Mesick thought he was allowed to possess firearms,” Vieth wrote.
Mesick appeared briefly in court for hearings on Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon. During the first hearing, Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy said the Pre-Trial Services Office hadn’t had enough time to do a background check on Mesick, and delayed the hearing for a day. On Tuesday, Fuller said the prosecution wanted time to learn more about Mesick and his past brushes with the law, and planned to call witnesses to support her motion to keep him in custody until the case is decided.
Conroy said he would be especially interested in hearing from police about threats they reported Mesick had made toward them.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Elizabeth Quinn asked the delay be limited to two more days. Conroy agreed and set the hearing for today, Thursday.