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Press Release

Billings felon admits illegal possession of firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana

BILLNGS — A Billings man with two prior federal felony convictions admitted today to illegally possessing a firearm, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Robert John Bigback, 28, pleaded guilty to prohibited person in possession of a firearm or ammunition. Bigback faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other sentencing factors. Sentencing was set for Nov. 15. Bigback was detained pending further proceedings.

The government alleged in court documents that on March 9, Bigback’s mother found him sleeping in her house with a gun next to his head. His father brought the firearm, a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol, to the United States Federal Probation Office. When Bigback woke up, his mother saw him frantically looking for something where the gun had been. Bigback told his mother he had been using methamphetamine, was paranoid and thought people were after him. Bigback had prior felony federal convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm and for distribution of meth, and he was prohibited from possessing firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot is prosecuting the case. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, United States Probation Office and Montana Division of Criminal Investigation conducted the investigation.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.



Clair Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer



Updated July 19, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Press Release Number: 23-221