Billings man sentenced to prison for firearms crimes after admitting guns were for protection while selling methamphetamine
GREAT FALLS—A Billings man convicted of firearms crimes after he admitted distributing methamphetamine on the Fort Belknap and Fort Peck reservations was sentenced to today to six years and eight months in prison and three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Gabriel Greg Hazard, 36, pleaded guilty in August to prohibited person in possession of a firearm and to possessing a firearm during a drug trafficking crime.
U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.
In court records filed in the case, the prosecution said Hazard had been convicted of felony robbery in 2014 and was paroled in 2018. Hazard’s felony conviction prohibited him from possessing firearms or ammunition. One month after being released, Hazard began selling meth on the Fort Belknap and Fort Peck reservations.
On Dec. 16, 2018, a law enforcement officer pulled over Hazard for erratic driving on Highway 2 between Wolf Point and Poplar, on the Fort Peck Reservation. Hazard was under the influence of meth at the time of the traffic stop. In his vehicle were three firearms and an assortment of ammunition. Hazard also had a military style vest in the vehicle and a few grams of meth in his wallet. Hazard cooperated with officers and indicated he used the firearms for protection.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassady Adams prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office and the Fort Peck Tribal law enforcement.
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.