Joshua Michael Jones Sentenced in U.S. District Cour
The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula, on July 29, 2010, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, JOSHUA MICHAEL JONES, a 23-year-old resident of Helena, appeared for sentencing. JONES was sentenced to a term of:
- Probation: 5 years
- Special Assessment: $100
JONES was sentenced in connection with his guilty plea to possession of a stolen firearm.
In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vince Carroll, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:
On October 20, 2008, an agent with the Montana Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, along with a Wheatland County Sheriff's Office deputy, conducted a consent search of an apartment in Harlowton during a narcotics investigation. During the search, the officers located an Auto-Ordnance, Model Thompson 1928, .45-caliber sub-machine gun in a bedroom closet. The occupants of the apartment unit stated that the machine gun belonged to JONES (who was the fiance of one of the occupant's granddaughters). JONES told his fiance and her grandmother (one of the occupants of the apartment) that he inherited the gun from his grandfather.
A subsequent search of the National Firearms Registration and Transfer record revealed that the machine gun was registered to B.S. of Helena. B.S. was interviewed and was not aware that the machine gun was missing. Upon conducting an inventory of his firearms, B.S. indicated that the machine gun was missing. B.S. kept the machine gun in a garage area of his home, and indicted that it must have been stolen when his house was being built, during the time when he was not living there, when several contractors and subcontractors had access to the garage area.
JONES was interviewed and admitted that he stole the machine gun, and that he knew it was a machine gun. He indicated that he had been doing some ranch work on B.S.'s property for an individual named "Wayne." He stated that he stole the machine gun from B.S.'s garage to "make up" for the money that Wayne had not paid him for the ranch work. JONES gave the gun to his fiance's grandmother to keep for him while he was working out of state.
The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation, the Wheatland County Sheriff's Office, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.