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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Montana
Leif M. Johnson, United States Attorney
Contact: Clair Johnson Howard
For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Crow Agency Felon Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Illegal Firearm Possession After High-Speed Pursuit on Crow Indian Reservation

BILLINGS  — A Crow Agency felon who illegally possessed a loaded semi-automatic rifle and led law enforcement officers on a high-speed pursuit on the Crow Indian Reservation was sentenced on May 18 to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Brian Pretty Weasel, 34, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

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

The government alleged in court documents that in October 2018, Pretty Weasel was convicted of a federal felony of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm. In May 2021, a U.S. Marshals Service deputy and other law enforcement officers attempted to stop Pretty Weasel on a warrant in Billings. Pretty Weasel fled officers in a SUV that had been reported stolen and sped from Billings onto the Crow Reservation. Bureau of Indian Affairs officers joined the pursuit, which reached speeds exceeding 100 mph. An officer saw a passenger hand a rifle to Pretty Weasel, the driver. Pretty Weasel ultimately crashed into another vehicle in Pryor, fled on foot from the SUV and was caught by officers. Officers located a loaded, semi-automatic rifle that Pretty Weasel had dropped near the SUV. The firearm had been reported stolen in 2018.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeanne Torske prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the BIA, U.S. Marshals Service and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.


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