Defendant in Springfield,Vt., drug deal gone bad denies federal firearms charge

Published: 3/16/2019 10:37:59 PM
Modified: 3/16/2019 10:38:01 PM



BURLINGTON — A New Hampshire man pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm during an ill-fated drug deal at the Holiday Inn in Springfield in January.

Police allege Ian Flowers, 36, was in possession of a 9mm pistol on Jan. 6 despite previous felony convictions.

Flowers, of Claremont, met with three other people in a hotel room at the Holiday Inn that day to exchange thousands of dollars for THC-infused products, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Flowers pulled out his pistol and attempted to rob the person selling him the THC products, prosecutors allege. After a struggle, Flowers was stabbed in the neck, was shot with his own gun and was left bleeding profusely from his wounds in the hotel hallway.

Vermont State Police reportedly found the pistol while searching the hotel room.

Flowers appeared in a wheelchair on Wednesday afternoon before Judge John Conroy. Conroy noted that Flowers had a lengthy criminal record in Massachusetts and Connecticut, as well as a history of substance abuse.

Flowers faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the charge.

“Federal prosecutors in Vermont will show no tolerance for gun crime and violence in connection with the illicit drug trade, and prosecution of these crimes will remain the top priority of the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” U.S. Attorney Christina Nolan said in the release. “These principles apply with equal force to those who commit violent crime — such as robberies, burglaries, and gun offenses — in connection with the marijuana and THC trade.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Spencer Willig represented the prosecution, while assistant federal defender Barclay Johnson represented Flowers.

A detention hearing to determine whether Flowers will stay in custody until trial and if bail will be set was scheduled for Monday. Flowers will remain in custody at least until that hearing.

Kraig LaPorte, the spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, did not immediately return a call requesting additional information on Flowers’ criminal history.

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