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Press Release

Man who supplied stolen firearms used in Billings casino robbery sentenced to 37 months in prison

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

BILLINGS  — A man who admitted to illegally possessing firearms after he supplied two stolen guns to two women, who robbed a Billings liquor store and later ditched them at an elementary school playground, was sentenced today to 37 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Darwin Dalton Sutherland, 29, a transient, pleaded guilty in November 2023 to prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.

In court documents, the government alleged that in March 2022, Sutherland participated in a residential burglary in which 12 firearms were stolen. Sutherland admitted he possessed all 12 stolen firearms and that he gave two of them to two women, Makayla Fetter and Taliah Ramirez, who then robbed a Billings casino at gunpoint. Sutherland was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a felony conviction for burglary in Cascade County.

After the robbery, Fetter and Ramirez attempted to flee law enforcement, crashed their car on property at Ponderosa Elementary School and ditched the stolen firearms on the playground. Officers recovered one of the firearms, while the next day, a student found the second gun. Fetter was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, and Ramirez was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for convictions related to the armed robbery.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin M. Rubich prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the FBI.

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 March 16, 2023

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 23-85