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Case Number: 6:21-cr-00006-BMM-2
Judge: Brian Morris
Court: United States District Court for the District of Montana (Lewis and Clark County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Helena, Montana criminal defense attorney represented defendant charged with firearm crimes.
Catherine Suzanne Morsette, 39, of Boulder, who owned Modern Pawn and Consignment in Helena, pleaded guilty in September 2021 to two counts of false statement during a firearms transaction and to failure to keep proper records.
Chief U.S. District Court Judge Brian M. Morris presided. Chief Judge Morris also ordered $4,955 restitution.
The government alleged in court documents that an undercover investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of Modern Pawn led to multiple defendants indicted on firearms crimes. Morsette, who was the federal firearms licensee for Modern Pawn, facilitated two straw purchases in the pawn shop in April 2021. Morsette also sold a firearm in the pawn shop that was not listed in the inventory records and did not require the actual purchaser to fill out any required paperwork.
During the undercover investigation, a man and a woman went to the business where the man looked at a Beretta 9mm pistol in April 2021. The man let Morsette know that he was not a Montana resident and showed his out-of-state driver’s license. Morsette instructed the woman to fill out the ATF form because she could not sell that firearm to the man. The woman completed the form and bought the 9mm pistol for the man. Morsette then sold the man a Smith and Wesson .45-caliber pistol after she called her husband and co-defendant, Isaiah Morsette, to confirm that the .45-caliber pistol was not in the store’s system. Isaiah Morsette has pleaded guilty to charges and is pending sentencing.
The government further alleged that in April 2021, a man, identified as #3, bought a Ruger .44 magnum revolver for a man identified as #2. Catherine Morsette knowingly made a false statement by stating the named purchaser of the revolver was the actual purchaser, Man #3, when in fact she knew the actual purchaser was Man #2.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case, which was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Helena Police Department and Lewis and Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a U.S. Department of Justice initiative to reduce violent crime. Through PSN, federal, tribal, state and local law enforcement partners in Montana focus on violent crime driven by methamphetamine trafficking, armed robbers, firearms offenses and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.
Outcome: 01/14/2022 111 JUDGMENT as to Catherine Suzanne Morsette (2), Count(s) 1, 13, 6, Dismissed on motion of the United States.; Count(s) 12, 5, 7, Defendant is sentenced to PROBATION FOR 4 YEARS. Conditions stated. Fine waived. Special Assessment $300.00. Restitution $4,955.00 jointly and severally with co-defendants.. Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 1/14/2022. (HEG) (Entered: 01/14/2022)
01/14/2022 112 Judgment Restitution Payee Information as to Catherine Suzanne Morsette re 111 Judgment . Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 1/14/2022. (HEG) (Entered: 01/14/2022)
01/14/2022 113 STATEMENT OF REASONS as to Catherine Suzanne Morsette re 111 Judgment, . Signed by Judge Brian Morris on 1/14/2022. (HEG) (Entered: 01/14/2022)
01/14/2022 114 PRESENTENCE INVESTIGATION REPORT (Sealed) as to Catherine Suzanne Morsette. Copy to counsel via sealed email. (HEG) (Entered: 01/14/2022)