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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 17, 2018

Great Falls Felon Sentenced for Gun Possession

GREAT FALLS - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that 31-year old Daniel Gonzalez of Great Falls was sentenced to 30 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.  U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided over the hearing.  

In June of 2017, Great Falls law enforcement searched for Gonzalez in relation to a shooting that had occurred in Great Falls.  Officers were aware that Gonzalez typically carried a firearm and had an outstanding warrant.  On June 12, 2017, officers received information that Gonzalez was still in town.  Detectives subsequently located Gonzalez sitting in the passenger seat of a car in a parking lot.  They could not see any other occupants in the car.  Officers approached the car and arrested Gonzalez. 

Detectives received permission to search the car and retrieved a black handgun from underneath the passenger seat where Gonzalez had been seated.  The handgun was loaded with round in the chamber; the magazine also contained several rounds of ammunition.

Gonzalez admitted that he was a heroin user and had been seeking drugs.  He also admitted that the gun found underneath the passenger seat of the car was his firearm.  He said he had received the firearm as payment for a heroin deal that had occurred a few months prior.  Gonzalez added that it was necessary to carry a gun in Great Falls because everyone had a firearm.

Gonzalez has an extensive criminal history that includes prior convictions for thefts, burglaries, assaults, and domestic violence, and is prohibited from possessing firearms. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Betley and investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Great Falls Police Department.

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.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Contact: 
KERI LEGGETT Acting Public Information Officer (406) 761-7715
Updated May 17, 2018