BURLINGTON — A Barre man, who authorities said made false statements when he attempted to buy five handguns, pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Burlington late Friday afternoon to a series of federal charges.
Demetericius Campbell, 42, of Circle Street, lied during separate attempted gun purchases about not having any pending court orders restraining him from harassing, stalking or threatening somebody in a domestic abuse case, court records show.
He tried to buy two .380 caliber pistols on Dec. 6, 2018, according to the three-count indictment. It said Campbell also tried to buy two more .380 caliber pistols and one 9-mm pistol on Jan. 25.
The third charge maintains Campbell possessed a .303 British caliber rifle on Feb. 7 while still the subject of an extended order of protection.
Federal Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy ordered Campbell held until a hearing could be held on Tuesday for the government’s request that he be detained pending trial.
U.S. Attorney Christina E. Nolan said Campbell is a risk to flee and also would be a danger to the community if released.
Campbell’s ex-wife, Heidi Campbell, obtained the restraining order from Vermont Superior Court in Barre on Dec. 4, 2018 on behalf of herself and their three children, records show.
Nolan said the protection order directing Demetericius Campbell not to put his ex-wife or three children in fear was served on him by a court clerk after a hearing.
Judge Kirstin K. Schoonover and Assistant Judge Miriam Conlon also reviewed the terms of the order with Campbell because the court questioned whether he was confused about the directive, records filed at the Barre courthouse show.
“Campbell did not care about this notice,” Nolan said in federal court papers. Two days after the order was issued, Campbell attempted to buy two handguns at R & L Archery in Barre, Nolan wrote in her motion seeking his detention.
When those purchases were eventually denied because of the restraining order, Campbell returned to R & L Archery on Jan. 25 and tried to buy three more guns. The attempted purchase, which was captured on video, was rejected again because of the restraining order, Nolan said.
Investigators executed a court-order search at Campbell’s residence in Barre in February and recovered a firearm in his bedroom, along with ammunition, Nolan said. He was the lone occupant of the apartment.
“This conduct put them in danger and put society at large in danger,” Nolan wrote.
“Campbell has no regard for court orders. He flouts them left and right. Campbell also lies without hesitation in attempting to acquire handguns. He would lie to a probation officer whenever convenient and he would not respect this court’s orders,” Vermont’s top federal prosecutor said.