Helena Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Firearm Offense
HELENA – Elbert Flores Hernandez, Jr., a 44-year-old Helena resident, was sentenced today to 56 months in prison followed by 3 years supervised release after pleading guilty to prohibited person in possession of a firearm and ammunition on January 3, 2018. U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon handed down the sentence.
On January 3, 2017, law enforcement arrested Hernandez after he left a Helena area residence. After receiving consent to search the vehicle, officers found a Smith and Wesson, .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol, under the passenger seat where Hernandez was sitting. The pistol was loaded with twelve rounds of ammunition. At the time, Hernandez was a probation absconder with outstanding arrest warrants from Montana and Arizona.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette Stewart and investigated by the Missouri River Drug Task Force, Montana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to identify those responsible for significant violent crime in Montana. A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a recently reinvigorated Department of Justice program that has proven to be successful in reducing violent crime. Today’s sentencing is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.