Billings Man Subject to Restraining Order Sentenced to Prison for Firearms
The United States Attorney's Office announced that ANTHONY MARCOS CHADWELL, 20, of Billings, was sentenced to 48 months in prison followed by 3 years supervised release by Senior U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy on February 19, 2014. In November 2013, a jury found Chadwell guilty of being a subject of a court order in possession of firearms and ammunition after a 2 day trial.
On August 26, 2012, a Billings Police Officer performed a traffic stop on a vehicle that was believed to contain the subject of an active felony arrest warrant, namely Charlie Lawson. The vehicle did not stop right away and the officer observed movements as he followed it.
After the vehicle did pull over, the officer approached and spoke with the two males inside. The officer identified the driver of the vehicle as Anthony Marcos Chadwell.
The defendant told the officer he did not have an ID, but he gave his correct name and told the officer he was a habitual traffic offender ("HTO"). The officer immediately knew he was going to arrest the defendant for the HTO offense if confirmed by dispatch.
Dispatch later confirmed that Mr. Chadwell was in fact HTO and was on probation. Dispatch also advised the officer that the defendant had an "officer caution" on him stemming from a previous incident where he had a .357 firearm near the center console/arm rest area.
After cover officers arrived, the officer asked the defendant to step out of the car and the defendant did so without issue. The officer was aware the defendant had been stabbed recently and he placed two sets of handcuffs on the defendant for his comfort. The defendant kicked the driver's side door closed. The officer walked the defendant back to his patrol vehicle and placed him in the back seat.
The officer told Chadwell that he was going to contact his probation officer to obtain authority to search the vehicle. Immediately, Chadwell became agitated and he yelled at the other passenger to get out and lock the doors. Chadwell yelled again for the passenger to lock the doors. The officer asked dispatch to inform Chadwell's probation officer that he was going to arrest Chadwell for the HTO violation. The defendant also yelled at the passenger to call his mother and to tell her they were being harassed. The passenger told the defendant she was on her way and told the defendant to calm down.
The officer asked the defendant if he had insurance and the defendant said he did. The officer asked if it was in the glove box and the defendant replied to just give him a no-insurance ticket because he was not getting in the glove box. The defendant was adamant and told the officer that he had the keys and the officer wasn't getting them.
The defendant was moved to another officer's patrol car and transported to jail. A probation officer authorized a search and requested that the police search the Chadwell's car. Because the officer was aware of the "officer caution" alert on Chadwell, that indicated there may be a firearm near the center armrest, he started his search there. The officer discovered a Colt model 1908 .25 caliber semi-automatic, loaded and with a round in the chamber. Officer Ward also found a Bryco Jennings J-22 semi-automatic pistol in the glove box.
Follow-up investigation showed that Chadwell was the subject of an "Order of Protection" issued on November 8, 2011. The order is one that prohibits the defendant from the lawful possession of firearms, with all four firearms prohibition criteria checked by the issuing court. Further, Chadwell had an opportunity to participate, had actual notice of the hearing and he was served with the order.
The investigation was conducted by the Billings Police Department and presented for federal prosecution by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.