Tuesday, August 04, 2020

Columbia Falls man sentenced for gun charge

by Daily Inter Lake
| May 23, 2020 1:00 AM

A Columbia Falls man who was on state probation was sentenced Thursday to two years in prison and three years of supervised release for illegally possessing firearms and ammunition.

According to U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme, George Harrison Burger, 50, pleaded guilty in February to prohibited person in possession of firearms.

In court records filed in the case, the prosecution said that in December 2018, officers from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Probation and Parole conducted a probation search of Burger’s residence as a condition of his probation. Law enforcement recovered nine firearms and multiple rounds of ammunition. Burger had prior convictions that prohibited him from possessing firearms.

In 2014, Burger was charged with a host of crimes, including ramming his ex-wife’s car, stealing a raft and other items from a garage, and operating a clandestine methamphetamine lab out of a van. Burger was on probation for operation of clandestine drug laboratory and theft, according to Department of Corrections records.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Elliott prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Montana Probation and Parole.

U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy presided.

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.