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HELENA – Elbert Flores Hernandez Jr., a 44-year-old Helena resident, was sentenced this week to 56 months in prison followed by 3 years supervised release after pleading guilty to prohibited person in possession of a firearm and ammunition on Jan. 3. U.S. District Judge Sam E. Haddon handed down the sentence.

On Jan. 3, 2017, law enforcement arrested Hernandez after he left a Helena-area residence. After receiving consent to search the vehicle, officers found a Smith and Wesson .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol under the passenger seat where Hernandez was sitting. The pistol was loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

At the time, Hernandez was a probation absconder with outstanding arrest warrants from Montana and Arizona.

Hernandez has multiple felony convictions in Lewis and Clark County, including drug possession with intent to distribute, larceny and DUI.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paulette Stewart and investigated by the Missouri River Drug Task Force, Montana Department of Corrections Probation and Parole and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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