News and Press Releases

Zollie Louis Byrd Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bill Mercer, United States Attorney for the District of Montana, announced today that during a federal court session in Helena on December 10, 2009, before Senior U.S. District Judge Charles C. Lovell, ZOLLIE LOUIS BYRD, a 55-year-old resident of South Carolina, pled guilty to being in possession of an unregistered machinegun. Sentencing is set for March 23, 2010. He is currently detained.

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

On January 13, 2009, BYRD was convicted in South Carolina for possession of machineguns, thereby prohibiting from possession of any firearms.

On September 1, 2009, Broadwater County Sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call that someone had hit a fence in Townsend.

On September 2, 2009, BYRD was interviewed and admitted that he had recently been convicted for possession of machineguns. He stated he was traveling alone and all of the recovered firearms belonged to him. He also admitted that most of the firearms recovered were partially manufactured by him as he customized the firearms for his own use. BYRD stated that the Tec 9 was full-auto, meaning that when he held the trigger down, it fired as long as he depressed the trigger and would only stop when released.

Twenty other firearms and 3,000 rounds of related ammunition were also recovered from BYRD'S motor home.

BYRD 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 Broadwater County Sheriff's Office 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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