The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Sabrina Kingsbury, 40, of Burlington, Vermont has been charged under the federal Hobbs Act with obstructing commerce by robbery. Kingsbury appeared today in U.S. District Court in Burlington for an initial appearance. U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle granted the government’s motion for detention and ordered Kingsbury detained until trial, which has not been scheduled.
According to court records, the government alleges that on April 18, 2022 at approximately 4:00 p.m., Kingsbury entered the Black Diamond store at 17 Church Street and gathered about $1,200 worth of merchandise, including clothing, a backpack, and a headlamp. Kingsbury then attempted to leave the store without paying for these items. After store employees confronted her, she threatened to stab one of them. Soon after, officers from the Burlington Police Department arrested Kingsbury with the merchandise near the bus stop located at St. Paul and Pearl Streets. At the time of her arrest, Kingsbury possessed a Gerber Leatherman knife on her person.
The complaint is an accusation only and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted, Kingsbury faces a maximum sentence of twenty years imprisonment and three years of supervised release, which would follow any sentence of imprisonment. Any actual sentence will be determined with reference to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Burlington Police Department are investigating this case. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Perella. Kingsbury is represented by Sara Puls, Esq. of 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