BILLINGS- A Billings man was sentenced in federal court to five years in prison Thursday for illegal possession of firearms last summer.
William Thomas Fischer Jr., 58, pleaded guilty to the charges on Nov. 20, according to U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme. He was also sentenced by U.S. District Judge Susan Watters to three years of supervised release.
Prosecutors said police found the guns in Fischer’s car while it was impounded following a traffic stop. On July 2, 2018, a Billings police officer stopped Fischer and saw him place two small bags of suspected meth in his mouth. The officer pulled Fischer out of the car to prevent him from swallowing them but never found the bags.
A search by a K9 dog turned up positive for the odor of narcotics, and police obtained a warrant and seized the vehicle.
Officers found a 12-gauge shotgun and an SKS semi-automatic rifle inside. Two days, according to Alme, Fischer told a woman in a recorded jail call that two guns were in the car.
Fischer had previously been convicted in 2003 for felony possession of a firearm by an unlawful user and addict of a controlled substance.
The case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, an effort by the U.S. Department of Justice to reduce violent crime.