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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Montana
For Immediate Release
Jesse Laslovich, United States Attorney
www.justice.gov/usao-mt
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Billings Man Sentenced to Prison for Possessing Unregistered Silencer

BILLINGS Mont. — A Billings man who admitted to possessing an unregistered silencer that was recovered at a Billings bar after a shooting incident was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Elias Miguel Nava, 19, pleaded guilty in June to possession of an unregistered silencer.

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

The government alleged in court documents that on Oct. 16, 2022, Billings Police Department officers recovered a silencer at Bullwhackers Bar after a shooting incident. On Oct. 23, 2022, police officers recovered a .22-caliber pistol and other firearms at the Wild West Bar after a shooting incident involving Nava. The pistol was in the possession of Nava and one of his co-defendants at the time. Social media, photos and videos showed Nava and his co-defendant in possession of the pistol with the silencer that was recovered on Oct. 16 attached.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas K. Godfrey prosecuted the case. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Billings Police Department 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 of Justice 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.

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