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Press Release

Missoula felon sentenced to five years in prison for illegally possessing firearms

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

MISSOULA — A Missoula man with two prior federal felony convictions was sentenced today to five years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, after he admitted to illegally possessing firearms, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said.

The defendant, Luke Aldon Hayes, 41, pleaded guilty in October 2023 to felon in possession of a firearm.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided.

The government alleged in court documents that Hayes had two prior federal felony convictions for firearms-related offenses and was prohibited from possessing guns. On Aug. 9, 2023, while at work in Bonner, Hayes accidently shot himself in the foot and immediately drove to his residence. 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, law enforcement recovered additional guns, ammunition and accessories from Hayes in October 2023. In total, law enforcement recovered 14 firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Racicot prosecuted the case. The FBI 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 February 14, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Press Release Number: 24-46