For Immediate Release
New Hampshire Man Sentenced to Over Three Years in Prison for Possessing Firearm During Botched Drug Deal in Springfield, Vermont
The Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Ira Flowers, 37, of Claremont, New Hampshire was sentenced today to 41 months of imprisonment for possessing a 9mm semi-automatic pistol after having been convicted of multiple felonies. Chief U.S. District Judge Geoffrey Crawford also sentenced Flowers to a 2-year term of supervised release to follow his imprisonment.
At the sentencing hearing, Chief Judge Crawford found that Flowers possessed the firearm in connection with another felony offense, specifically the attempted possession with the intent to distribute marijuana and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)-infused products. Testimony at the sentencing hearing established that Flowers brought the 9mm pistol to the Holiday Inn in Springfield, Vermont, where Flowers met with three others to exchange thousands of dollars for bulk marijuana and THC products. A struggle ensued during the drug transaction, and Flowers was stabbed in the neck, shot once in the leg (with the pistol he unlawfully possessed), and left in the hotel hallway bleeding profusely from his wounds. A search of the hotel room by the Vermont State Police resulted in the seizure of the 9mm pistol unlawfully possessed by Flowers, as well as a single 9mm casing.
Flowers has an extensive criminal record, including prior convictions for the sale of a controlled substance, violating a protective order, narcotic possession, assault, driving under the influence, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and theft of a firearm.
United States Attorney Christina Nolan commended the investigative efforts of the Vermont State Police, as well as the assistance of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). She stated, “This case highlights the extraordinary risk and harm that results from prohibited persons carrying firearms and from the mix of guns and the drug trade. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and its law enforcement partners will continue to prioritize prosecution of those who commit violence and violate federal gun laws, and we will seek serious punishment for those crimes.”
The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Spencer Willig and Jonathan Ophardt. The defendant was represented by Kevin Henry, Esq. of Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years