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Press Release

Missoula felon admits illegal possession of firearms

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

MISSOULA — A Missoula man with prior federal felony convictions for gun-related crimes today admitted to illegally possessing multiple firearms, which had no serial numbers, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

Luke Aldon Hayes, 42, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with felon in possession of a firearm. Hayes faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided and set sentencing for Feb. 14, 2024. The court will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors. Hayes was detained pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that Hayes had two prior federal felony convictions for firearms-related offenses when, on Aug. 9, while at work in Bonner, he accidentally shot himself in the foot. Hayes left work immediately and drove to his residence in East Missoula. Law enforcement responded to Hayes’ residence and eventually searched his mother’s car because she was seen moving a black, plastic case from the house to the vehicle. Officers seized the black case, which contained seven handguns. None of the guns had serial numbers, and one of them, a .40-caliber pistol, was accompanied by a high-capacity magazine capable of holding 22 rounds of ammunition. In addition, Hayes agreed to the forfeiture of firearms recovered on Aug. 9 along with other guns, ammunition and accessories recovered later by law enforcement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot is prosecuting the case. The FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force 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 J. Howard

Public Affairs Officer


Updated October 17, 2023

Project Safe Childhood
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 23-386