A Jeffersonville felon — who authorities said had 16 firearms in his home, including several high-powered assault rifles — will remain in prison until his trial on a federal gun charge, court records show.
The defense for Christopher M. Mesick, 37, of Main Street had initially indicated it would fight efforts by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to keep him in custody until trial.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy Fuller, the violent crime coordinator for the prosecutor’s office in Vermont, had asked for a detention hearing so she could summon witnesses to support her motion.
However, when the hearing convened last Thursday, Mesick’s new lawyer, federal public defender Michael Desautels did not contest the in-custody order.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy ruled Thursday Mesick needed to be held because of his criminal record, his use of weapons, and past alcohol or substance abuse. Mesick also got involved in criminal activity while on probation, Conroy ruled.
He said there was clear and convincing evidence that no combination of conditions could be set that would reasonably assure the safety of the public.
Mesick is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a felony aggravated assault conviction two years ago, records show.
Fuller noted in her motion that Mesick said “I’m going to shoot you” when he pointed a gun at another person in that Burlington assault case two years ago. Mesick also resisted arrest when police arrived.
The 16 firearms were found during a court-ordered search at Mesick’s residence in Lamoille County on Jan. 13, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said. Vermont State Police Lt. Bob Lucas said this week investigators had called Mesick before the search and asked him to meet them at a nearby location. He was taken into custody without incident, Lucas said.
Mesick’s home was close to Cambridge Elementary School, which was in session; the school was alerted in advance, according to Lucas. When officers arrived at the residence nobody was found there, Lucas said.
Besides the firearms, investigators found a few ounces of marijuana in plain view and several cases of ammunition, ATF Special Agent Tam Vieth said in a court affidavit.
The search warrant was sparked by a state police visit the week before when troopers were asked to check on Mesick’s well-being. Police found Mesick unsteady on his feet, slurring his speech and making threats towards the state troopers, Vieth said.
A state trooper noticed four rifles in the living room, three of them AR-15 style rifles with bayonets, Vieth said. One had a 50-round drum magazine inserted. That led to the request for a search warrant.