Jury convicts Conrad man of firearms violation
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Montana
GREAT FALLS – A jury convicted a Conrad man of illegal possession of a shotgun and ammunition on Thursday following a two-day trial, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
The jury found Joseph William Webb, 27, guilty of felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition. The trial began on Wednesday.
U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided and set sentencing for Feb. 13. Webb was released pending further proceedings.
Webb faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.
“As a convicted felon, Mr. Webb’s unlawful possession of a shotgun posed a danger to our community. Offenders illegally possessing firearms will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I want to thank Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paulette Stewart and Kalah Paisley and the rest of the prosecution team, the Montana Highway Patrol and the Great Falls Police Department for their work on this case,” U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
At trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Webb illegally possessed a shotgun and ammunition after having been convicted of a felony in California in September 2017. Webb was charged after a Montana Highway Patrol trooper stopped a vehicle Webb was driving for speeding on Interstate 15 in Cascade County on Aug. 25, 2018. The trooper saw a shotgun in plain view in the back seat. The vehicle had been traveling 93 mph in a posted 80 mph zone. A MHP dispatcher checking Webb’s driving information advised the trooper that Webb was on probation out of California and was prohibited from possessing firearms.
Webb told the trooper the firearm was in the vehicle when he bought it and that he had moved the shotgun from the trunk to the backseat. Webb consented to a search of the vehicle, and the trooper seized the firearm, a 16 gauge shotgun, along with 10 shotgun shells. The prosecution evidence showed that Webb knew he was a convicted felon on state supervision.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Paulette Stewart and Kalah Paisley prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Montana Highway Patrol and the Great Falls Police Department.
The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), which is the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.
Clair Johnson Howard
Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Officer
Updated November 1, 2019
Project Safe Neighborhoods