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Press Release

Kalispell felon admits illegal possession of gun used in shooting

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

MISSOULA — A Kalispell man with a felony conviction admitted to a firearms crime after he gave a gun to another person who used it in a fatal shooting, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Kyle Kenneth Smith, 33, pleaded guilty to prohibited person in possession of a firearm. Smith faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen L. DeSoto presided. A sentencing date was set for Jan. 3, 2024 before U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Smith was detained pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that on Sept. 10, 2020 in Kalispell, a shooting occurred that resulted in the death of an individual. Smith admitted in a later interview that he had personally handed a 9mm pistol used in the shooting to the shooter minutes before the event occurred. Smith had a previous felony conviction for criminal endangerment and was prohibited from possessing firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara J. Elliott is prosecuting the case. The FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force, Kalispell Police Department, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Great Falls Police Department conducted the investigation.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.



Clair Johnson Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated August 29, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 23-330