BILLINGS – A Fairview man, Lonnie Burdette Porter, 59, has been convicted of being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm after a two-day trial in Billings. Porter was released on conditions pending sentencing which Judge Susan Watters set for December 15, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. in Billings.
The government presented evidence that on September 24, 2020, Porter contacted the Fairview Police Department to report that guns had been stolen from his home while he was out of town. The defendant acknowledged he was prohibited from possessing firearms due to his probation.
Later that day, Montana Probation and Parole and Fairview Police Department searched Porter’s home. The defendant again acknowledged he was in possession of firearms. Law enforcement discovered a hole in the floor under the defendant’s dryer which contained a significant amount of firearms. Additional guns were located elsewhere in the house.
In total, thirty-eight firearms, ammunition, and antique firearms were taken from Porter’s home. The following January, eight more guns belonging to the defendant were recovered by the Fairview Police Department.
Porter is prohibited from possessing firearms because of a prior criminal felony conviction in Richland County, Montana.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Colin Rubich and Thomas Godfrey prosecuted the case which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
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