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A Billings felon who admitted to illegally possessing a gun following a police chase in Poplar was sentenced to prison this past week.

Curtis Jeffrey Montclair, 38, of Poplar and Billings, pleaded guilty in May to prohibited person in possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to three and a half years in federal prison, followed by supervised release for three years.

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

In 2018, Montclair was convicted and sentenced on three separate felony drug possession cases in Yellowstone County.

Court documents state Montclair, a convicted felon on state absconder status from Billings, possessed a 9 mm pistol. On June 29, 2020, Fort Peck Tribal Police responded to a call of a man discharging a firearm. When they arrived they saw Montclair walking with three females. When police asked to question him, he fled on foot.

During the foot chase, Montclair took out a firearm and a bag and dropped them. The officer caught up and used a taser to stop Montclair, documents state.

Police recovered the gun, and he later admitted he knew he was forbidden from having a gun. He admitted to absconding from state supervision.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Fort Peck Police Department and Montana Probation and Parole.

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.

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