News and Press Releases

Bradley Robert Cowan Sentenced in U.S. District 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 18, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Jack D. Shanstrom, BRADLEY ROBERT COWAN, a 30-year-old resident of Billings, appeared for sentencing. COWAN was sentenced to a term of:

  • Prison: 40 months
  • Special Assessment: $100
  • Supervised Release: 3 years

COWAN was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm.

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:

On May 14, 2008, COWAN was sentenced for two counts of felony drug distribution. The court imposed a ten year commitment to the Montana Department of Corrections, with all time suspended. As a condition of his probation, the court imposed several conditions on COWAN, including that he not possess firearms.

On November 12, 2008, a deputy with the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office observed COWAN'S vehicle at a local bar. The deputy was aware of COWAN'S felony history and confirmed with a state probation officer that COWAN had a restricted driving privilege and was not to be at bars. The probation officer asked the deputy to arrest COWAN for probation violations. When the deputy returned to the bar, he observed COWAN driving away at a high rate of speed. When the deputy tried to pull him over, a high-speed pursuit followed. COWAN turned down a dead-end road and drove down it at a high rate of speed, resulting in a violent crash. When the deputy arrived at the crash site to help COWAN, he located a firearm in the debris field.

The firearm was identified as a Winchester 61-2 .22 rifle. COWAN later admitted to possession of the rifle.

Because there is no parole in the federal system, the "truth in sentencing" guidelines mandate that COWAN will likely serve all of the time imposed by the court. In the federal system, COWAN does have the opportunity to earn a sentence reduction for "good behavior." However, this reduction will not exceed 15% of the overall sentence.

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

This conviction is yet another important outcome from Project Safe Neighborhoods, a national priority of the United States Department of Justice. PSN is designed as a partnership between federal and local law enforcement to reduce violent crime and gun-related crime through the vigorous enforcement of the criminal provisions of the federal firearms laws. In Montana, the effort under PSN is called "Catch and No Release."



Return to Top

USAO Homepage
USAO Briefing Room
Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee

Training and seminars for Federal, State, and Local Law Enforcement Agencies.

Project Safe Childhood

Help us combat the proliferation of sexual exploitation crimes against children.