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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Jury Convicts Billings Felon of Unlawfully Possessing a Firearm

BILLINGS – Following one-and-half days of trial, Mack Edward Harris, 49, of Billings, Montana, was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and possessing a firearm after a misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence. U.S. District Judge Susan Watters presided over the trial. Harris now faces a maximum ten years in prison on each count, a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.

Evidence presented at trial by Assistant United States Attorneys Paulette Stewart and Colin Rubich showed that on March 10, 2013, Harris possessed a firearm in Billings, Montana. At the time, he had already been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence and a felony. On March 10, 2013, Billings Police Department officers responded to a report of a domestic, physical disturbance in an apartment on Industrial Avenue.  The complainant heard fighting, as well as the female reference that the male had a firearm under the mattress.

After officers gained entry into the apartment to investigate, they conducted a safety sweep.  On the second sweep, the officers discovered Mack Edward Harris in a cupboard under the sink.  Harris denied any knowledge of a firearm in the apartment. After obtaining consent to search the apartment, the officers found a Hi-Point 9mm pistol under the dresser in the bedroom. A trace of the firearm confirmed that it belonged to a man who had sold it to Harris not knowing that Harris was prohibited from owning a firearm.

The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as the Billings Police Department.

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Updated March 3, 2015