For Immediate Release
Billings Felon Admits Illegal Possession of Firearm
BILLINGS — A Billings felon who was arrested by Billings police officers while searching for two escaped jail inmates admitted today to illegally possessing a firearm, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.
Jeffrey Wayne Follet, 34, pleaded guilty to prohibited person in possession of a firearm as charged in an indictment. Follett faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and at least three years of supervised release
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. A sentencing date will be set before U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Follett was detained pending further proceedings.
The government alleged in court documents that on Sept. 12, 2022, Billings Police Department officers were looking for two escaped inmates from the Yellowstone County Detention Facility and received information that the inmates were hiding at an apartment building on South 27th Street. A passenger car approached the east side of the apartment complex, and four persons left the apartment and got into the car. Two of the persons matched the description of the escapees. Police attempted a traffic stop on the car, but it fled. Officers performed a maneuver in which they pinned the car near an intersection. Follet was in the rear passenger side of the car and got out holding a pistol. Officers ordered Follet to drop the gun. Officers saw Follet drop the gun behind his back and run north on the sidewalk. Officers chased and arrested Follet. Follet was on Montana state supervision for a felony conviction and was prohibited from possessing firearms. The firearm was a loaded, 9mm pistol.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas K. Godfrey is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Billings Police Department.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.