BURLINGTON — A Bennington man facing murder charges in the 2019 killing of Jessica Hildenbrandt has now been charged with federal gun and drug offenses in U.S. District Court in Burlington, according to a federal indictment released Thursday.
Deven Moffitt, 32, was charged with three federal felonies: possession with intent to distribute controlled substances; possession of a firearm having previously been convicted of a crime punishable by a prison term of more than a year; and possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to a police affidavit, Moffitt fled as police tried to arrest him earlier this month in connection with the murder of Hildenbrandt, who was 47 at the time of her death.
As Moffitt was attempting to flee from police, a witness observed him place a bag inside a trash container. A search of that bag revealed more than 3,000 bags of suspected fentanyl and distribution quantities of powder and crack cocaine. Within the pack, police also found two loaded handguns, the affidavit said.
When Moffitt was apprehended, police also found that he was in possession of more than $16,000 in cash.
Moffitt is currently being held without bail at Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield in connection with the murder charge. He was initially charged in Bennington Superior Court on June 1 with murder in the second degree. That killing came after a violent and abusive relationship that started when Moffitt was a Vermont prisoner, prosecutors alleged.
Moffitt faces a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and up to lifetime incarceration if convicted of the federal charges.
Moffitt’s case was jointly investigated by Vermont State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Bennington Police Department.
The date of his initial appearance in federal court has not been set.