(GREAT FALLS) The United States Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday that Daniel Gonzalez of Great Falls has been sentenced to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided over the hearing.
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in June of 2017, law enforcement officers searched for Gonzalez in relation to a shooting that had occurred in Great Falls. Officers were aware that Gonzalez typically carried a firearm and had an outstanding warrant.
On June 12, 2017, officers received information that Gonzalez was still in town. Detectives found Gonzalez sitting in the passenger seat of a car in a parking lot. They could not see any other people in the car. Officers approached the car and arrested Gonzalez.
Detectives received permission to search the car and retrieved a black handgun from underneath the passenger seat where Gonzalez had been sitting. The handgun was loaded with a round in the chamber; the magazine also contained several rounds of ammunition.
The ATF analyzed the firearm seized from the car and identified it as a Strassells Machine (Hi-Point Firearms), model C9, 9 mm Luger caliber, semiautomatic pistol, with serial number P1935357.
Gonzalez, 31 years old, admitted that he was a heroin user and had been looking for drugs, and also admitted that the gun found underneath the car seat was his. He said he had received the firearm as payment for a heroin deal that had happened a few months ago. Gonzalez added that it was necessary to carry a gun in Great Falls because everyone had a firearm.
Gonzalez’s criminal history dates back to 2004, and includes convictions in Washington for theft, burglary, assault, and domestic violence; each of the convictions resulted in Gonzalez being prohibited from possessing firearms