• Ex-lawman denies federal gun charges
    May 17,2013

    BURLINGTON — A former Vermont police officer has pleaded not guilty to a series of federal gun and tax charges.

    Fifty-six-year-old Phil Ciotti entered the pleas Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Burlington.

    Ciotti’s court appearance came a week after he was indicted on federal gun and tax charges.

    And it came about 21 months after federal agents raided his St. Johnsbury home and seized 550 firearms.

    The Burlington Free Press reported that among the charges filed against Ciotti, a licensed federal firearms dealer, were that he didn’t pay enough taxes and that he made improper gun sales.

    A former Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent whose home was searched at the same time as Ciotti, 58-year-old Richard Bernholz, of Franklin, agreed to plead to gun and tax-fraud charges.

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