News and Press Releases

Thomas J. Embry Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Billings on November 17, 2009, before Chief U.S. District Judge Richard F. Cebull, THOMAS J. EMBRY, age 22, pled guilty to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm and a violent felon-in-possession of body armor. Sentencing is set for February 18, 2010. He is currently detained.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Ed Zink, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

EMBRY is a convicted felon, with a 2005 conviction for assault with a weapon on his record, which is defined as a "crime of violence" under federal law.

Starting September 2008, EMBRY was on Montana felony supervision under "Conditional Release," which is similar in restrictions to parole.

On August 5, 2009, he was stopped by a sheriff's deputy in Billings. A search revealed a Safariland ballistic vest (body armor) and ammunition in the vehicle. EMBRY'S name appeared inside the vest.

After the vest was discovered, a Montana Probation and Parole officer contacted ATF and advised that EMBRY was previously in possession of two firearms. Investigation revealed that EMBRY'S father-in-law became concerned for his daughter. He came to Billings around June 4, 2009. He told investigators that he met with EMBRY'S supervising probation officer, then went to EMBRY'S residence to recover the guns he knew EMBRY possessed. He removed two Glock pistols from the residence and then sold them to a licensed dealer. ATF later recovered these firearms. They were identified as a Glock model 22 .40 S&W caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Glock model 19 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

Investigation revealed the firearms were purchased in Billings on February 9, 2009, and later transferred to EMBRY. The purchaser of the firearms told investigators that EMBRY gave him cash and asked him to purchase these two guns for him. The purchaser said EMBRY drove him to Scheels. There, he said he bought the two guns EMBRY selected. The purchaser said he gave them to EMBRY soon afterward.

EMBRY faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office, U.S. Probation and Parole, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A copy of the Offer of Proof can be obtained by contacting Sally Frank at (406) 247-4638.



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