BELLOWS FALLS — A local woman has been sentenced to two years of probation for obtaining a handgun for her then-boyfriend, a felon, last year, according to the U.S. attorney for Vermont.
Bridgette Lawlor, 34, of Bellows Falls, had previously pleaded guilty to the federal charge in U.S. District Court in Burlington, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Vermont announced in a recent news release.
Federal prosecutors accused Lawlor in June 2020 of buying the handgun for Ferdinand “Feldi” Cruz, 40, also of Bellows Falls, whose criminal record made it illegal for him to own a firearm. Lawlor had “falsely represented that she was the actual buyer of the firearm” when she purchased it at a local gun store several months earlier, prosecutors said in an indictment.
She was charged with making a false statement in connection with the acquisition of a firearm and was sentenced July 22.
Cruz, who had previous felony convictions in Connecticut for robbery, unlawful restraint and selling cocaine, according to the news release, was sentenced in June to 15 months in prison for possessing firearms.
Dover, Vt., police found two guns in his home — including the one Lawlor bought for him — during an unrelated sexual assault investigation, according to court documents. He was also sentenced last month to three years of supervised release after his prison sentence, and the two guns in his possession were forfeited, the U.S. attorney for Vermont announced at the time.
The investigation into Cruz began in April 2020 after a girl reported that he had sexually assaulted her several years earlier, when she was in elementary school, according to the affidavit written by Dover police Detective Rebecca Morris. State authorities are prosecuting that case in Vermont Superior Court in Brattleboro, where it remains pending.