DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of North Dakota

For Immediate Release

Monday, January 12, 2015
Timothy Q. Purdon
, United States Attorney
Contact: John Trautman

Williston Man Sentenced for Possession of Firearm and Ammunition

BISMARCK - U. S. Attorney Timothy Q. Purdon announced that on Jan. 12, 2015, Michael John Schell, 44, Williston, N.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel L. Hovland on a charge of possession of firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon. Judge Hovland sentenced Schell to serve seven years in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Schell was ordered to pay a $100 special assessment to the Crime Victim’s Fund.

On July 20, 2013, in Williston, North Dakota, Schell was stopped for a traffic violation. After discovery of a drug paraphernalia pipe, a law enforcement search resulted in the discovery of four firearms in the vehicle, including a semi-automatic rifle and over 500 rounds of ammunition.

Schell was prohibited from possessing either a firearm or ammunition by virtue of multiple felony convictions, including California convictions for possession of a controlled substance for sale in 1995, possession of a controlled substance in 1996, possession of a controlled substance in 2001, domestic assault in 2010, and felon in possession of a firearm in 2010.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, and the Williston Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Hagler prosecuted the case.


St. Paul Field Division