Belgrade man sentenced for firearm violation
BILLINGS—A Belgrade man who admitted lying when he bought a semi-automatic pistol in Livingston was sentenced today to nine months of time served and one year of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Stacey James Wondra, 26, pleaded guilty on Dec. 6 to false statement during firearms transaction.
U.S. District Judge Susan Watters presided.
Prosecutors said evidence showed that Wondra was charged in Gallatin County in December 2017 with felony burglary and was released on conditions, including he not possess a firearm. On March 14, 2018, Wondra bought a 9mm semi-automatic pistol at a pawn shop in Livingston. On the paperwork for the transaction, Wondra answered “no” to whether he was under indictment or information for any felony charges. Wondra’s answer deceived the firearms dealer about his legal status for buying a firearm.
Five days later, Livingston police responded to a report of a person being held captive with a gun at a motel. Wondra and another person were hanging out at the motel and others confirmed that the pair had been handling the 9mm pistol throughout the weekend. The two got into an argument in the motel room, prompting law enforcement’s initial response. Wondra told officers he had purchased the gun a few days earlier, and the gun was found during a search of the room. Wondra then went back to the pawn shop that same day and pawned the gun he had purchased five days earlier.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan Dake prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.