Conrad felon sentenced to 21 months in prison for illegal possession of firearms

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

GREAT FALLS  — A Conrad man who admitted to illegally possessing three firearms within one month of being on state probation for a felony conviction was sentenced today to 21 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Leif M. Johnson said.

Jeremy John Walston, 36, pleaded guilty in November 2021 to felon in possession of a firearm.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

In court documents filed in the case, the government alleged that within one month of starting Montana state probation for a felony conviction, Walston possessed three firearms, including an AR-15 style rifle with a high-capacity magazine, a shotgun and a pistol, along with more than 100 rounds of ammunition. Walston also admitted to having sold a second AR-15 rifle shortly before his arrest. Walston was convicted of a state felony drug crime and sentenced on July 6, 2020. On Aug. 6, 2020, after hearing reports of Walston possessing firearms, probation officers conducted a home check of Walston’s residence and found the three firearms in his bedroom. Walston stated he knew he could not have the firearms.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ethan R. Plaut prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.

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