From the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Montana:

Today, a Billings man accused of doing armed patrols on the sidewalk in front of his home, which happened to be directly across the street from a public elementary school, admitted to a firearms crime.

Gabriel Cowan Metcalf, 49, of Billings, pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm in a school zone, as charged in an indictment. Metcalf faces a maximum of five years in prison, a $100K file, and three years of supervised release.

Sentencing is set for August 2nd, and Metcalf may be released, pending further proceedings, with conditions.

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The Timeline of Events

According to the court, from August 2nd, 2023 through August 17th, 2023, Metcalf was in possession of a 20-gauge shotgun within 1,000 feet of Broadwater Elementary School in Billings.

Metcalf lives on Broadwater Avenue, directly across from the public school. On August 2nd, 2023, Billings Police received a call regarding Metcalf pacing around with a firearm in front of his residence.

A detective saw Metcalf walk onto the property of a business that is located next door to Metcalf's home. The same day, a woman stepped outside of a nearby residence and saw Metcalf walking up the driveway and coming toward her with a firearm over his shoulder.

Multiple Billings residents saw Metcalf walking on the 400 block of Broadwater Avenue with a firearm, and on August 11th, 2023, another resident saw Metcalf standing on the sidewalk, and carrying a firearm while staring into traffic and looking directly at Broadwater School.

On August 13th, Metcalf was spotted walking West on the sidewalk, while carrying a firearm over his shoulder. On August 17th, law enforcement spoke with Metcalf, who admitted to following cars while carrying a firearm, walking to a nearby business, and escorting his mother down the street to her shop while carrying a firearm.

Metcalf informed officers he "patrolled" daily, and usually went around the block once or twice a week, but had started doing it several times a day. Law enforcement served a search warrant at Metcalf's home and seized a 20-gauge shotgun with 6 rounds of ammo. The shotgun was the firearm Metcalf described as using to patrol.

The sidewalks and streets in front of Metcalf's residence are public property, within 1,000 feet of a school, and are defined in federal law as a "school zone".

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