Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Jesse Laslovich, United States Attorney
Contact: Clair J. Howard,
For Immediate Release
Friday, January 19, 2024

Illegal Possession of Gun Sends Billings Felon to Prison

BILLINGS, Mont. — A Billings felon who admitted to illegally possessing a gun after he lied to law enforcement about his identity because of outstanding warrants was sentenced today to three years and one month in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Patrick Lee Tellez, 50, pleaded guilty in September 2023 to felon in possession of a firearm.

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

The government alleged in court documents that on Dec. 30, 2022, in Billings, a Montana Highway Patrol officer conducted a traffic stop on a speeding car in which Tellez was a passenger. Tellez lied about his identity because he had outstanding warrants. Tellez refused the trooper’s order to get out of the vehicle and had to be tazed. When Tellez did get out of the car, the trooper saw a pistol that had been shoved into the passenger seat. Tellez had six prior felony convictions and was prohibited from possessing firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori Harper Suek prosecuted the case. The Montana Highway Patrol 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.


An official website of the U.S. Department of Justice

Looking for U.S. government information and services?