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Cody Ahonen detained, charged with firearm offense after initial hearing

Cody Ahonen, 28, of Mt. Holly, was arrested by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Sept. 20, following the death of his girlfriend, Brittany Bouthiette, by gunshot to the head in a parked vehicle in Killington Sept. 15, according to a press release from the U.S. Dept. of Justice for the District of Vermont, Sept. 22.

Ahonen made his initial appearance Sept. 22 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kevin J. Doyle in Burlington.

Ahonen informed law enforcement the gunshot wound was self-inflicted by Bouthiette. But the gun used in that incident belonged to Ahonen and Ahonen possessed the gun before Bouthiette’s death. After Bouthiette was shot, Ahonen attempted to throw the gun into the woods, according to the Dept. of Justice. Police located a Glock pistol in a roadside ditch. Beneath the vehicle, troopers located a quantity of suspected cocaine base. Inside the vehicle, troopers located an additional pistol, a rifle, a quantity of powder cocaine, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, a digital scale with white residue, and approximately $10,000 in U.S. currency.

According to a federal criminal complaint filed on Sept. 21, Ahonen was prohibited by federal law from possessing firearms due to a previous conviction for a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, specifically, a 2012 domestic assault conviction in Vermont state court.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Ahonen was ordered detained pending trial.

The charge in the criminal complaint is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted of possessing a firearm having been previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(9), Ahonen faces a maximum sentence of 10 years imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, would be determined by the Court with guidance from the advisory Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Acting United States Attorney Jonathan A. Ophardt commended the coordinated investigatory efforts of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and the Vermont State Police.

The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Wendy L. Fuller. Cody Ahonen is represented by attorneys with the federal public defender’s Office.

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