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'Violent wanted fugitive' arrested in Great Falls

Large police presence on 10th Avenue South on Wednesday evening
William Raymond Keatts
Large police presence on 10th Avenue South on Wednesday evening
William Raymond Keatts
Posted at 10:15 PM, Mar 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-03 13:22:30-05

(UPDATE) The GFPD says that officers arrested a "violent wanted fugitive" at the scene, identified as Billy Keatts. The arrest was a joint effort between the GFPD and the US Marshall’s Violent Offender Task Force.

The GFPD has not yet released any other details, but there is a William Raymond Keatts registered on the Montana Department of Corrections website who has felony convictions in Cascade County for theft, burglary, and criminal possession of dangerous drugs. Keatts was listed on the site as being on probation in Great Falls as of March 2nd.

As of the morning of Thursday, March 3, Keatts is listed by the MT DOC as being an inmate at the Cascade County Detention Center.

Court documents released on Thursday state that Keatts was arrested on a charge of criminal endangerment, incidental to any outstanding warrants or parole/probation violations.

We will update you when we get more information.



(1st REPORT, 6:49 p.m.) There was a large police presence along 10th Avenue South near 6th Street for several minutes on Wednesday, March 2, 2022.

We began receiving reports of the police activity at about 5:20 p.m., and several people shared videos and photos (see above).

Large police presence on 10th Avenue South on Wednesday evening
Large police presence on 10th Avenue South on Wednesday evening (March 2, 2022)

There were at least six marked Great Falls Police Department patrol vehicles; the vehicles and officers were blocking and diverting traffic.

At this point, it does not appear that the officers were responding to a crash, but we don't know what caused the large response.

We are trying to get information from the GFPD, and will update you once we get details.


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William Raymond Keatts
William Raymond Keatts