Man charged with possessing guns police returned to him

Published 8:26 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2018

GULFPORT (AP) — A man whose guns were seized when he was committed to a Mississippi mental hospital asked for his guns back nine months later, saying doctors had cleared him of any mental issues. So Pascagoula police, backed by a court order, handed over his AK-47 assault rifle and Glock pistol.

Now Steven Drew Montana is jailed without bond on federal charges of possessing weapons after being committed to a mental institution, and is headed to trial in May.

The Sun Herald of Biloxi reports that defense attorney Melvin G. Cooper asked U.S. District Judge Sul Ozerden to dismiss the charges, saying “outrageous government conduct” caused the crime.

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Pascagoula police aren’t commenting, but Cooper says authorities should have been aware of the previous commitment and should not have returned the guns.