Wilder, Vermont Man Charged for Unlawful Possession of Firearm and Explosive Devices

1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that William Hillard, 51, of Wilder, Vermont was charged by criminal complaint with (1) being a felon in possession of a firearm, and (2) possessing a destructive device.  Hillard was arrested on April 13, 2022, in connection with a search of his Wilder, Vermont residence.  Hillard’s initial appearance was held on April 14, 2022, and a detention hearing is scheduled for April 15, 2022.

According to an affidavit in support of the criminal complaint, law enforcement received information that Hillard was in possession of explosive devices.  A search warrant was executed at Hillard’s Wilder, Vermont residence and during the execution of the warrant law enforcement located explosive devices and materials as well as an AR-15-style rifle and ammunition.  

This matter is being investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), Hartford Police Department, Vermont State Police Bomb Squad, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

A criminal complaint is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted of the charged offense, the defendant faces up to 20 years of imprisonment. 

The Assistant United States Attorney handling the prosecution is Nate Burris.  Hillard is represented by the Federal Public Defenders Office.  

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts.  PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime.  Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.  As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime. https://www.justice.gov/psn

Related:  U.S. Attorney Nick Brown names both Civil and Criminal Division attorneys to focus on Environmental Justice