A Fairfax man pleaded not guilty to a charge of illegal possession of 3 firearms by a convicted felon

BURLINGTON — A Fairfax man, who officials say is under state investigation for multiple deer poaching cases in Chittenden County last year, has pleaded not guilty in federal court to a charge of illegal possession of 3 firearms by a convicted felon, records show. According to state court records, Travis W. Sweeney, 39, of Buck Hollow Road, had his two-story home searched by Vermont Game Wardens in December 2022 as part of the deer jacking investigation. The federal gun charge was filed recently as an offshoot to a state deer poaching investigation started in November 2022 by Game Warden Jeremy Schmid, who covers parts of Chittenden and Lamoille Counties. He was investigating reports of three deer that had been illegally shot over a few days in the area, records show. Sweeney, who previously lived in multiple locations, including Milton and Alburgh, is prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition due to his felony convictions, records show. Records show that Schmid was working with another warden at 12:10 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2022, on the illegal nighttime hunting complaints in Underhill when he later spotted a slow-moving truck near Pleasant Valley Road and Irish Settlement Road. A light was used from the driver’s side to illuminate multiple fields on a few roads as the truck traveled in the area, wardens said. The driver, who wardens believe was Sweeney, failed to stop for blue lights and sirens and instead drove at reckless speeds up to 100 miles per hour for 13 miles in an effort to elude law enforcement, court records show.