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Illegal possession of firearm sends Billings man to prison

BILLINGS—A Billings man who admitted he illegally had a firearm after being found passed out in a vehicle was sentenced today to two and one half years in prison and three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Matthew Robert-Jefferson Miller, 32, pleaded guilty in October to prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.

The prosecution said in court documents that in 2009, Matthew Robert-Jefferson Miller was convicted of felony drug charges. On March 8, 2019, a Rosebud County Sheriff’s sergeant received a call for service regarding a vehicle off the road and stuck in the snow near the Rosebud Creek turn off on Highway 10. The officer found the vehicle with Miller passed out behind the wheel. During a pat down search of Miller, the officer found a loaded firearm in his waistband. The officer conducted a DUI investigation and arrested Miller. During an interview, Miller advised he had the firearm for protection.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Patten prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

This case is part of Project Guardian, a Department of Justice initiative launched in the fall of 2019 to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Through Project Guardian, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Montana is working to enhance coordination of its federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement partners in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes. In addition, Project Guardian supports information sharing and taking action when individuals are denied a firearm purchase by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for mental health reasons or because they are a prohibited person.

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