A Billings woman who was arrested in a firearms sweep by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives admitted numerous gun and drug charges on Friday.
Leigh Ann Richey, 29, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Billings to all 11 felony counts against her in an indictment. There was no plea agreement.
“I stole them, and I sold them,” Richey told Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull, referring to a variety of handguns and rifles.
Richey, who admitted she was on probation for a felony conviction in Georgia at the time of the crimes, said she stole most of the guns from her stepfather’s home.
Richey further admitted to setting up two methamphetamine deals to distribute the drug to an undercover ATF agent.
Richey pleaded guilty to five counts of being a felon in possession of firearms, four counts of possessing stolen firearms and two counts of distributing meth.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Seykora said that in December 2010 Richey and another person sold a .40-caliber semi-automatic pistol and almost 4 grams of meth to an undercover ATF agent.
Richey set up another meth deal in January 2011 to sell the agent more meth in return for $40 for brokering the deal, he said.
Richey sold five guns, including the semi-automatic pistol, a revolver and three rifles, to undercover agents, Seykora said.
ATF agents and other law enforcement officers arrested Richey and others in November and December after an investigation into stolen guns and drug trafficking. At least 18 people have been charged in various indictments in the case. Richey’s co-defendant, Daniel Ray Newby, of Polson, has pleaded not guilty to multiple charges.
Richey faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the drug counts. Cebull set sentencing for April 26. Richey remains in custody.