NewsCrime and Courts


Illegal firearm possession sends Missoula man to prison

Russell Smith Courthouse
Posted at 7:45 PM, Apr 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-24 21:46:17-04

A Missoula man who admitted he illegally possessed a firearm and ammunition was sentenced Friday to 15 months in prison and three years of supervised release, U.S. Attorney Kurt Alme said.

Paul Aaron Champion, a 52-year-old, pleaded guilty in December to felon in possession of a firearm.

The prosecution said in court documents that in September 2017, federal, state and local law enforcement conducted a home visit and probation check at Champion's residence. Champion told his probation officer that he had used methamphetamine recently so his probation officer searched his residence.

The officer found a bag containing a .380-caliber pistol and ammunition for the gun. Champion at first denied, then admitted the firearm belonged to him. Champion was convicted of a felony and was serving a suspended sentence at the time.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee Peterson prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Missoula Police Department and Montana Probation and Parole.