Miles City man admits firearms charges
BILLINGS—A Miles City man who admitted to making silencers pleaded guilty to four firearms violations during a federal court hearing on Monday, U.S. Attorney Kurt G. Alme said.
Brendan John Jones, 52, pleaded guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm not registered in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record and to two counts of possession of a firearm not identified by serial number.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan presided. Sentencing is set for April 24, 2019. Jones is released.
Jones faces a maximum 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine and three years supervised release.
If the case had gone to trial, the government would have presented the following information as evidence:
An investigation began in April 2018 when law enforcement received information that Jones was in possession of explosives and also making illegal silencers. Undercover agents met with Jones at his business, Jones Auto Detailing, and discussed explosives. Jones showed the agents dynamite that appeared to be old. The agents also asked about silencers for sale. Jones told the agents he made silencers out of Maglite flashlights and had made one from an aluminum baseball bat. The agents made preliminary arrangements to buy silencers and explosives.
On May 8, 2018, law enforcement executed a search warrant on Jones’ business. Officers found a shoe box labeled as containing dynamite, homemade explosive devices and other items on top of a soda machine. Officers also found two homemade silencers and a portion of another part used to make a silencer. One of the silencers appeared to be made from a baseball bat, while the other appeared to have been made from a bicycle part.
In an interview with law enforcement the same day, Jones confessed to possessing the explosives and silencers and to manufacturing the silencers. None of the silencers recorded contained serial numbers.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zeno Baucus is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of its renewed focus on targeting violent criminals.