East Helena Man Pleads Guilty to Illegal Possession of a Machine Gun
HELENA – Patrick Ofaron Longdon, a 49-year-old resident of East Helena, Montana, pled guilty to illegal possession of a machine gun. U.S. Senior District Judge Sam Haddon presided over the hearing and set sentencing for October 2, 2018.
On July 4, 2017, the East Helena Police Department was dispatched to a man shooting an AK-47 type rifle into the air. Upon arrival, contact was made with Patrick Longdon. Longdon admitted to shooting the rifle into the air and that is was “fully-automatic.” Longdon was advised of his rights and acknowledged that he understood and agreed to be interviewed. Longdon told the officer that this was the first time he had ever fired the AK-47 since he converted it himself to full-auto. He also said he “just wanted to see if it worked.” He said that he thought he had fired about 10 rounds out of the rifle.
The officer asked Langdon if he would allow him to enter the house to retrieve the rifle. Longdon agreed to allow officers into his house and said that he “needed to get rid of the rifle.” He asked the officer to go into the house to retrieve it. The Officer recovered an AK-47 variant rifle from the floor of a bedroom within the residence. The rifle was unloaded with a magazine in the magazine well. The rifle was a Romarm/Cugir, Model SAR-1, 762 caliber, Rifle, Obliterated Serial Number.
Patrick Longdon’s name was queried within the ATF National Firearm Registration and Transfer Record (NFRTR). There was no record of Longdon within the NFRTR that allowed him to possess the firearm recovered from his house .
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bryan R. Whittaker and investigated by the East Helena Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF).
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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. Attorney General Jeff Sessions reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the local community to develop effective, locally-based strategies to reduce violent crime.