Kevin Leroy Crowder Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula on February 2, 2010, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah C. Lynch, KEVIN LEROY CROWDER, a 50-year-old resident of the Bozeman area, pled guilty to being a felon-in-possession of a firearm. Sentencing is set for April 2, 2010. He is currently detained.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Marcia K. Hurd, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
In May 2009, a Gallatin County Sheriff's Office detective was investigating a case with CROWDER as the suspect. The detective knew that CROWDER was a fugitive from Washington, where he was on supervision for a conviction for felony child molestation in the second degree in Clallam County Court, Washington. CROWDER was sentenced to 24 months confinement followed by 36 to 48 months community custody jail. CROWDER's felony conviction prohibited him from being in possession of a firearm or ammunition.
CROWDER fled to Montana while on supervision and lived first in Bozeman and then in a tent in the Hyalite Canyon area of the Gallatin National Forest south of Bozeman.
In September, the detective issued a press release seeking information about CROWDER's whereabouts. Several people reported CROWDER's whereabouts and that they had seen him during the summer there with a gun.
On September 29, CROWDER was located at a convenience store in Bozeman where he was arrested as a passenger in a truck. The truck's owner consented to a search of the truck and found in the truck was a bandolier-type belt loaded with shotgun shells that belonged to CROWDER. The driver reported that CROWDER had met him at his campsite carrying a shotgun, but the driver told CROWDER that he would not drive him to town with the shotgun. CROWDER hid the shotgun in the bushes by the driver's campsite.
The driver took law enforcement agents to the area where they found and seized the shotgun and ammunition. They also located CROWDER's campsite where two spent 12 gauge shotgun shell casings were found in plain view on the ground. The campsite was secured and a search warrant for the campsite was obtained.
Law enforcement agents served that warrant on October 1, 2009. Photographs of the campsite and tent were taken and seized from the area were numerous boxes of shotgun shells, a day planner with items of CROWDER's inside and other evidence. The shotgun was a Harrington and Richardson 12 gauge. The ammunition was also manufactured outside the state of Montana and traveled in interstate commerce.
CROWDER 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 Gallatin 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.