Jury convicts Billings woman of illegal possession of firearm
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
BILLINGS – A federal jury convicted a Billings woman on Tuesday for illegally possessing a firearm that was pawned in Billings, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said today.
After a two-day trial that began on May 17, a jury found Kaycee Nicole Kolka, 26, guilty of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm as charged in an indictment. Kolka faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided. Judge Watters set sentencing for Sept. 22 and ordered Kolka detained pending further proceedings.
“Felons who possess firearms are a threat to community safety and will be held responsible. I want to thank Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julie R. Patten and Thomas K. Godfrey and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for investigating and prosecuting this case,” Acting U.S. Attorney Johnson said.
In court documents and at trial, the government presented evidence alleging that in November 2018, Kolka was sentenced for a felony in Powder River County and acknowledged she was prohibited from possessing firearms. The government alleged that on Jan. 19. 2020, Kolka pawned a 9 mm revolver, which had been reported stolen in November 2018, at a Billings pawn shop. The pawn shop provided a pawn slip signed by Kolka, who declared she owned the gun. The government further alleged that Kolka told an investigator that she handled the pawn because she was the firearm’s owner.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julie R. Patten and Thomas K. Godfrey prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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.
Public Affairs Officer
Updated May 19, 2021