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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Montana
Jesse Laslovich, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Billings Felon Sentenced to More Than Two Years in Prison for Illegal Possession of Firearm

BILLINGS — A Billings felon was sentenced today to two years and three months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, after he admitted to illegally possessing a firearm found in a vehicle he was driving when he fled law enforcement and crashed, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Christopher Samuel Fear, 38, pleaded guilty in November 2023 to prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

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

The government alleged in court documents that on Jan. 11, 2023 after 2 a.m., a Montana Highway Patrol officer attempted a traffic stop of a vehicle for traveling 85 mph in a 65-mph speed zone. The trooper activated his emergency lights, but the vehicle fled and eventually crashed into a fence in Billings. Officers approached the vehicle and saw that it was empty. Officers noticed a pistol on the floorboard and found Fear hiding under the front end of the vehicle. Fear was on state probation at the time for a drug conviction and had an outstanding probation violation arrest warrant. Law enforcement later searched the vehicle and found 216 fentanyl pills, 20 grams of methamphetamine, baggies and a loaded .357-caliber semi-automatic pistol.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek prosecuted the case. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Drug Enforcement Administration, Montana Highway Patrol and Eastern Montana High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force conducted the investigation.

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.



Clair J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


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