The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont stated that Paul Lachapelle Jr., 26, of Springfield, Vermont, appeared today in federal court on charges that on May 30, 2022, he possessed a firearm while being an unlawful user of a controlled substance. Lachapelle pleaded not guilty at his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle and was detained pending further proceedings in the case.
According to court records, on May 30, 2022, Springfield Police responded to a residence to address a possible burglary in progress by an individual with a handgun holstered to his hip. Springfield Police encountered Lachapelle outside the residence and learned information indicating that Lachapelle threw a handgun into a tall grassy area nearby. Springfield Police searched that area and recovered a .22 caliber revolver with a holster. According to the complaint affidavit, Lachapelle has been an unlawful user of and addicted to controlled substances dating back to September 2021 and continuing into May of 2022.
The charge in the complaint is an accusation only, and Lachapelle is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. If convicted of the charged offense, Lachapelle could face up to ten years in prison along with a period of federal supervised release that could include requirements for substance abuse treatment. Any sentence would be determined by the Court with guidance from the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines and consideration of Lachapelle’s personal history and characteristics.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Vermont State Police, the Springfield Police Department, the Chester Police Department and the Ludlow Police Department. The United States is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Perella and Zachary Stendig. Lachapelle is represented by Michael Straub of Straub Law Offices.
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. Please visit https://www.justice.gov/psn for more information.