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Press Release

Livingston woman admits lying in purchase of a firearm used by felon who shot at state probation officers

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

BILLINGS – A Livingston woman accused of illegally obtaining a firearm for a felon who shot at state probation officers admitted federal charges today, Acting U.S. Attorney Leif Johnson said.

Tracy Fonda Flanigan, 46, pleaded guilty to false statement during a firearms transaction. Flanigan 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 released Flanigan pending further proceedings and set sentencing for April 15, 2021.

In court documents filed in the case, the prosecution said that in May 2018, Michael Anderson, a felon, shot at Montana State Probation and Parole Officers who were attempting to conduct a home check. Anderson was convicted in Yellowstone County District Court of assault with a weapon and sentenced to 40 years to the Montana State Prison.

During a search of Anderson’s residence, law enforcement officers found several firearms and ammunition. An investigation determined that one of the firearms recovered was purchased by Flanigan on Nov. 11, 2015. Officers learned that Flanigan purchased an AR-556 rifle at The Fort in Big Timber.

When interviewed by law enforcement, Anderson confirmed he had Flanigan purchase the firearms for him and gave her the money for the purchases. Flanigan knew Anderson was prohibited from possessing firearms because of prior felony convictions. Flanigan eventually admitted purchasing the firearms for Anderson.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Patten is prosecuting 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.



Clair Johnson Howard
Public Information Officer

Updated December 3, 2020

Project Guardian