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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Montana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 4, 2020

Browning man sentenced in gun violence crime

GREAT FALLS—A Browning man who admitted firing a gun during a confrontation in Browning on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation was sentenced today to five years in prison and five years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Arthur Thomas Westwolf, Jr., 26, pleaded guilty in January to possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

The prosecution said in court documents that Westwolf and another man, identified as John Doe, got into a confrontation on July 28, 2018 in front of a Browning residence. Westwolf returned to his truck and asked an occupant to give him his gun. Westwolf pulled a 9 mm caliber pistol from the truck and aimed it at Doe. Doe turned around and fled on foot. Westwolf then fired.

A witness reported the assault to law enforcement and said the vehicle left at a high rate of speed and headed toward East Glacier. Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services responded and located the vehicle, which was occupied by Westwolf and two others. All denied having the gun. Westwolf matched the description of the shooter, and he eventually admitted to firing the gun. The gun was located in the vehicle. When interviewed by federal investigators, Westwolf admitted to possessing the firearm and pointing it at the victim. He admitted to discharging the weapon but claimed he shot in the air.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kalah Paisley prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI and Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services.

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Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Clair Johnson Howard Public Information Officer 406-247-4623
Updated June 4, 2020