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Press Release

Chauncey Leo Elk Pleads Guilty In U.S. Federal Court

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

The United States Attorney's Office announced that during a federal court session in Great Falls, on October 29, 2013, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Keith Strong, CHAUNCEY LEO ELK, a 24-year-old resident of Poplar, pled guilty to false statement during a firearms transaction. Sentencing has been set for January 14, 2013. He is currently released on special conditions.

In an Offer of Proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette L. Stewart, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

On April 3, 2013, ELK made a false statement on an ATF Form 4473 during his attempt to purchase a Marlin .22 caliber rifle in Wolf Point at the Swap Shop. At that time, ELK was under prosecution and previously appeared on a federal indictment charging him with firearms offenses - one felony and one misdemeanor - straw purchase and transfer of a handgun to a juvenile.

ELK personally appeared before Magistrate Strong on March 12, 2013, in Great Falls. Magistrate Strong warned ELK that

The Swap Shop maintains a federal firearms license to deal in firearms. The Swap Shop's federal firearms license was

April 3, 2013. As a federal firearms licensee, the Swap Shop is required to maintain the ATF Form

When ELK filled out the ATF Form 4473 on April 3, 2013, at the Swap Shop, ELK checked that he was not under

Swap Shop to believe that the Marlin .22 caliber rifle could be lawfully


ELK faces possible penalties of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and 3 years supervised release.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated January 14, 2015