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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
District of Montana
Jesse Laslovich, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Thursday, June 22, 2023

Illegal Possession of Firearm Sends Billings Felon to Prison

BILLINGS — A Billings felon who admitted to illegally possessing a firearm after law enforcement found a gun in his vehicle, which had stopped in the middle of the road near Hardin, was sentenced today to 37 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Cody Lawrence Big Hair, 32, pleaded guilty in February to prohibited person in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

U.S District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.

The government alleged in court documents that shortly after midnight on April 23, 2022, a Bureau of Indian Affairs officer came upon a pickup truck stopped in the middle of the road near Hardin, in Big Horn County. The officer conducted a wellness check and found Big Hair, the driver and sole occupant, who initially gave a false name and admitted he had been drinking and doing drugs. Big Hair also said he was “trying to kill somebody.” Big Hair was in possession of a .22-caliber bold action rifle, three knives and a pair of brass knuckles. Big Hair had a felony conviction in 2021 in Big Horn County and was prohibited from possessing firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin D. Hargrove prosecuted the case. The Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives 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.

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