JOHNSON — George Goins, 65, of Johnson, made his initial appearance today in United States District Court.
Goins pleaded not guilty to charges of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, felon in possession of a firearm, and conspiracy to distribute fentanyl.
Goins was detained pending further proceedings in the case.
In the early morning hours of June 7, the victim, who lived in the same apartment building as Goins, confronted Goins near his apartment.
Goins took a handgun from his pocket, shot the victim in the neck, and fled.
Law enforcement later obtained a warrant to search Goins’ apartment where they recovered a Smith & Wesson SD9 VE 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
From a riverbank behind the Johnson apartment complex, investigators recovered a Smith & Wesson .40 caliber pistol.
Based on the caliber and characteristics of the weapon, investigators believe that the gun found near the riverbank was used to shoot the victim.
On June 8, law enforcement located Goins outside of a hotel in South Burlington.
Law enforcement recovered fentanyl and cocaine base in Goins’ hotel room.
Goins also had four bags of fentanyl on his person at the time of his arrest.
The victim was treated at a hospital for injuries and later released.
Goins is prohibited from possessing firearms due to his criminal history.
If convicted of the possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, Goins faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and up to a $250,000 fine.
For the felon in possession of a firearm charge, Goins faces a maximum sentence of 10 years incarceration and up to a $250,000 fine. For the drug charge, Goins faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and up to a $1,000,000 fine.