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Why federal authorities played key role in complex Northeast Kingdom murder case

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 5:04 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont U.S. Attorney’s office played a crucial role in bringing charges this week in the long-running Michael Pimental murder investigation.

A federal grand jury Tuesday indicted Krystal Whitcomb, John Welch, and Michael Hayes on charges of carrying and discharging a firearm during a drug trafficking crime with death resulting.

“When there is a murder in Vermont where state and local law enforcement is investigating that murder, we will assist them. And if there is a federal law we can charge, particularly if there are strategic reasons to do so and assist state and local law enforcement, we will investigate thoroughly and charge that federal law,” Nolan said.

Nolan says her office prioritizes prosecuting violent offenders in connection with the drug trade. She says for the Pimental case, the federal firearms laws made that possible.

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