BILLINGS — A Billings man who admitted stealing a firearm from a vehicle was sentenced today to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said. He also was sentenced to a concurrent 18 months in prison for violating the terms of his release on a previous federal conviction.
Dustin Neal Saksa, 36, pleaded guilty in February to being a prohibited person in possession a firearm. He also admitted to violating the terms of his supervised release.
U.S. District Judge Susan P. Watters presided.
The prosecution presented evidence in court records that Saksa was involved in an
April 2017 theft of a semi-automatic firearm and a purse with credit cards from an unlocked truck. Law enforcement officers responded to businesses in Billings where one of the stolen credit cards was used or attempted to be used. The investigation led officers to a witness who provided information about Saksa going into the victim’s vehicle. The stolen firearm was recovered about a month later. Saksa was prohibited from possessing a firearm because of a previous felony conviction.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Zeno Baucus prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
This case is part of Project Guardian, a Department of Justice initiative launched in the fall of 2019 to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Through Project Guardian, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District of Montana is working to enhance coordination of its federal, state, tribal and local law enforcement partners in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes. In addition, Project Guardian supports information sharing and taking action when individuals are denied a firearm purchase by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System for mental health reasons or because they are a prohibited person.