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Justice News

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

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Lavina Man Sentenced to Over Three Years for Possessing a Rifle

BILLINGS - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that Troy Willoughby was sentenced to 44 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.  U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided over the hearing.   

Willoughby previously entered a plea of guilty to a single-count indictment charging him being a felon in possession of a firearm.  In November 2016, law enforcement in Golden Valley County responded to a domestic assault involving Willoughby.  The victim of the assault later told law enforcement that Willoughby had a rifle even though he was prohibited from possessing a firearm.  Willoughby was later asked about the rifle.  He initially denied possession of the gun, but later admitted he had it and told law enforcement where it was hidden.  Law enforcement subsequently found the Savage, Model III, .270 caliber, bolt action rifle and ammunition. 

Willoughby is prohibited from possessing a firearm following a previous felony conviction in Golden Valley County. 

In a sentencing memorandum filed in federal court, federal prosecutors noted, “Willoughby is 54 years old and has spent numerous years within the criminal justice system.”  Willoughby has six previous felony convictions, including, convictions for partner/family member assault and domestic violence.  He has assaulted his family members, including his grandmother, his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s son.  Prosecutors noted that Willoughby “has a propensity for violence” and “seemingly does not take the criminal justice system seriously.” 

The Willoughby case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in conjunction with Golden Valley County Sheriff’s Office and other federal, state, and local agencies. 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is partnering with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to identify those responsible for significant violent crime in Montana.  A centerpiece of this effort is Project Safe Neighborhoods, a recently reinvigorated Department of Justice program that has proven to be successful in reducing violent crime.  Today’s sentencing is part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program.

Project Safe Neighborhoods
KERI LEGGETT Acting Public Information Officer (406) 761-7715
Updated March 1, 2018