Federal Jury Convicts Absarokee Man of Firearms Charge
BILLINGS – An Absarokee man, Christopher Michael Emter, 37, has been convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm following a jury trial in Billings, Montana. Emter is being detained pending sentencing, which U.S. District Court Judge Susan Watters set for October 7, 2015.
On January 12, 2013, a Billings resident notified law enforcement that his vehicle had been broken into and that two firearms had been stolen. One of the weapons stolen was a Sig Sauer .40 caliber pistol. On February 8, 2013, the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation into nine vehicles, which had been broken into and had items stolen from them while parked at the Stillwater Mine in Absarokee, Montana. Subsequent investigation revealed that credit cards taken from the vehicles had been used in local gas stations. Videos from that time period were reviewed and helped investigators determine that Emter was the prime suspect.
A search warrant was issued and executed on February 14, 2013, for Christopher Emter’s residence. Many items stolen from the Stillwater Mine vehicles were recovered. Additionally, the Sig Sauer pistol stolen in Billings in January was found at the residence. Prior to the search of the bedroom, Emter was found digging around in the closet and not responding to officer’s commands to show his hands. Officers located the Sig Sauer pistol in a tote in the closet. After the pistol was found, Emter fled the residence but was detained shortly thereafter. Emter is prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a prior felony criminal endangerment conviction in Yellowstone County.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Lahr prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Stillwater County Sheriff’s Office.