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Press Release

Illegal possession of gun sends Lolo man to prison

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

MISSOULA—A Lolo man who admitted illegally having a gun and ammunition was sentenced today to three years in prison and three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Francis Carlton Crowley, 34, pleaded guilty in December to prohibited person in possession of a firearm and ammunition.

U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen presided.

The prosecution said in court documents filed in the case that in May 2018, soon after moving to Montana from Oregon, Crowley’s sister bought a shotgun from a Missoula pawn shop. On July 7, 2018, Crowley showed up at Lolo Hot Springs, where his sister worked, and began threatening people. He said he had a gun and kept reaching into his pockets. Crowley also said he had crashed his car and his baby son, later determined to be his nephew, was in the woods. Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies searched the Lolo National Forest for Crowley and the baby. On July 8, 2018, while searching, officers located Crowley’s campsite and saw spent and live shotgun shells and the shotgun his sister had purchased. The investigation also found photographs showing Crowley in possession of the shotgun.

Crowley had prior felony convictions in Oregon and Washington and was prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim Racicot prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

 This case is part of Project Guardian, a Department of Justice initiative launched in the fall of 2019 to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Through Project Guardian, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Montana is working to enhance coordination of its federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement partners in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes. In addition, Project Guardian supports information sharing and taking action when individuals are denied a firearm purchase by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for mental health reasons or because they are a prohibited person.



Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Officer

Updated March 27, 2020

Project Guardian