Big Sky Roundup

Kalispell felon admits illegal possession of gun used in shooting

By: - August 30, 2023 5:24 pm

Photo illustration by Getty Images.

A Kalispell man with a felony conviction admitted to a firearms crime after he gave a gun to another person who used it in a fatal shooting, U.S. Attorney Jesse Laslovich said in a news release this week.

Kyle Kenneth Smith, 33, pleaded guilty to prohibited person in possession of a firearm, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Montana. Smith faces a maximum of 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release.

Smith was detained pending further proceedings.

In court documents, the government alleged that on Sept. 10, 2020 in Kalispell, a shooting occurred that resulted in the death of an individual, according to the news release.

Smith admitted in a later interview that he had personally handed a 9-mm pistol used in the shooting to the assailant minutes before the event occurred, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Smith had a previous felony conviction for criminal endangerment and was prohibited from possessing firearms, according to the news release.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen DeSoto presided. A sentencing date was set for Jan. 3, 2024 before U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tara Elliott is prosecuting the case. The FBI’s Montana Regional Violent Crime Task Force, Kalispell Police Department, Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and Great Falls Police Department conducted the investigation.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

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