GREAT FALLS — A California man today was sentenced to 30 months in prison after he admitted to illegally possessing a firearm, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.
Darryl Jason Dempsey, 30, of Vacaville, CA, pleaded guilty in June to prohibited person in possession of a firearm.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.
In court documents filed in the case, the prosecution said on June 7, 2019, law enforcement officers came into contact with Dempsey north of Outlook, about one mile south of the Canadian border. Dempsey told officers that his truck was stuck nearby and provided a description of the truck. Dempsey provided a false name and did not have any identification documents. He also had a large amount of cash on his person. Officers took Dempsey to the Border Patrol Station to be identified.
Officers located the truck, and a canine alerted to the presence of drugs. Officers impounded the truck and searched it. Underneath the backseat compartment, an officer found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol. At the time of the offense, Dempsey was on probation in California for a felony conviction and was prohibited from possessing firearms.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassady Adams prosecuted the case, which was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Border Patrol, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Sheridan County Sheriff’s Office.
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.