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East Corinth man who had grenade in car denied release from jail amid COVID-19

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 4/22/2020 9:18:52 PM
Modified: 4/22/2020 9:18:44 PM

BURLINGTON — An East Corinth man who pleaded guilty to having explosives in his car last year will remain in jail until his sentencing despite the outbreak of COVID-19, a U.S. District Court judge ordered last week.

Mark. A. Mattiace, 42, pleaded guilty in January to one count of possession of explosive devices for the July incident on Interstate 91 in Hartford, according to federal court documents. Mattiace also had a hand grenade without powder in the car, documents said.

The documents did not indicate what sentence the plea deal carries, and emails to the prosecutor and Mattiace’s attorney, Michael Desautels, were not returned Wednesday.

In a motion this month, Desautels requested that Mattiace be released from the Essex County Correctional Center in Lewis, N.Y., until his sentencing on May 11 due to the outbreak of COVID-19. In the motion, Desautels wrote that Mattiace is diabetic, making him at increased risk of complications from the virus.

He wrote that “numerous courts” have granted release for inmates like Mattiace with pre-existing conditions, due to the new coronavirus and the risk of inmates catching the virus.

“Prisons and jails are among the worst places to prevent, contain, and control the outbreak of an infectious disease,” Deusatels said in the motion.

He also argued that Mattiace is not at risk of fleeing since he’s lived in Vermont for two years and doesn’t have the financial means to leave, and that he doesn’t pose a threat of violence.

But U.S. District Court Judge William Sessions denied the request in an order last week, saying there’s nothing in the motion to suggest that Mattiace wouldn’t be a flight or safety risk.

During the July traffic stop, police found methamphetamine, a blasting cap, detonation cord and pentaerythritol tetranitrate, an explosive material, in Mattiace’s car, according to an indictment. The seized grenade did not have powder, but the other explosive items were a problem, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agent Scott Murray said in a court affidavit.

Mattiace is barred from possessing explosives because he is a felon, records show. He has six felony convictions, including two for drug charges in Coos County in northern New Hampshire, the ATF said in court records.

Anna Merriman can be reached at amerriman@vnews.com or 603-727-3216.

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