Athens, Vermont Man Charged with Unlawful Possession of Short-barrel Shotgun

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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 Ryan Goodrich, 37, of Athens, Vermont was arraigned yesterday on an indictment that alleges on March 3, 2022, Goodrich unlawfully possessed an unregistered short-barrel shotgun, unlawfully possessed multiple shotguns and an AR-style rifle due to Goodrich’s prior felony convictions, and unlawfully possessed heroin.  

According to court records, Vermont Game Wardens began an investigation of Goodrich in late winter of 2022 for violations of fish and wildlife regulations.  During their investigation, the wardens obtained a search warrant for Goodrich’s Facebook account, which revealed a photograph of a short-barrel shotgun.  The messages within the account revealed Goodrich had discharged the weapon and likely possessed it at his residence.  The wardens coordinated with agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to execute a search warrant at Goodrich’s residence on March 3, 2022.  During the search, agents located the short-barrel shotgun (which was loaded), multiple additional shotguns, multiple rifles (including an AR-style rifle), 2,978 rounds of ammunition, $6,000 in U.S. Currency, and 880 bags of heroin.  

After the warrant was executed, the federal grand jury returned an indictment on March 10, 2022.  Agents attempted to locate Goodrich in and around Athens, and in doing so, encouraged people who knew him to have Goodrich turn himself in to law enforcement.  Goodrich did not do so.  On April 9, 2022, Keene, New Hampshire Police located Goodrich at a hotel in Keene. Officers obtained a search warrant for the hotel room, but Goodrich was not inside when it was executed.  Agents found evidence of Goodrich’s prior presence, including personal paperwork in a backpack.  On April 19, 2022, law enforcement learned that Goodrich was attempting to obtain transportation to Texas.  Goodrich was subsequently located and apprehended at a hotel in Deerfield, Massachusetts.

The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an indictment contains allegations only and that Goodrich remains presumed innocent until and unless he is convicted of a crime. Goodrich faces a maximum sentence of 10 years of imprisonment on each firearm violation.  The actual sentence would be determined with reference the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

United States Attorney Nikolas P. Kerest commended the investigatory efforts of Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.  He also thanked the Keene Police Department, the Massachusetts State Police, the Deerfield Police Department, and the Greenfield Police Department for their assistance in locating and apprehending Goodrich.  

The prosecutor is Assistant United States Attorney Jonathan Ophardt.  Goodrich is represented by Assistant Federal Public Defender Mary Nerino. 

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.  See https://www.justice.gov/psn for more information.