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BURLINGTON — A Brattleboro man is facing a felony charge of possessing a firearm while being an unlawful user of drugs and being addicted to a controlled substance, federal court records show.

Justin M. Grover, 40, is expected to appear in U.S. District Court in Burlington today to enter a plea to the felony gun charge.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives arrested Grover on Friday following a joint investigation with Brattleboro Police concerning a 7.62 X 25 Pioneer Arms semi-automatic firearm. He was lodged without bail at the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield.

Prosecutors have filed a motion seeking to have Grover detained pending trial. The combination of weapons, ammunition and drugs presents a risk of violence, they wrote. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy is being asked to detain Grover both as a danger to the community and a risk of flight.

A federal grand jury in Burlington returned the indictment July 16, but it was sealed until Grover was arrested.

Brattleboro Officer David Lockerby reported that he found Grover asleep in a car at the Burger King on Canal Street about 1:05 a.m. June 18. The semi-automatic pistol, a high-capacity (30 rounds) magazine with six live rounds loaded, another 40 rounds of ammunition and 7 glassine envelopes of fentanyl were found in the trunk of his car, Lockerby said in a court affidavit. A knife also was spotted on the console as Grover slept, police said.

Grover possessed those items while being a user of heroin and being addicted to it, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in court papers.

Grover was found again July 14 asleep in his car at Cumberland Farms on Marlboro Road with empty glassine bags on the dash and seat along with an open syringe on the passenger seat, Brattleboro Police said. A small silver scale also was spotted on the passenger seat, Officer Ryan Washburn said.

Grover had been implicated in an apparent attempted theft of firearms on July 11 from a sporting goods and firearms store in Hinsdale, N.H., Washburn wrote.

Grover attempted to set off the fire alarm sprinkler system in a bathroom at Runnings by setting a fire, but that did not work, Washburn said. He said Grover then stuck a knife in the sprinkler head causing the system to go off.

The thought was to try to distract employees and customers at Runnings, and Grover apparently hoped to scoop up some firearms, Washburn said. Grover got nowhere and a witness reported seeing a man leaving the bathroom soaked, police said. Runnings reported about $20,000 to $30,000 in water damage, police said.


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