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A Canadian man suspected of trying to smuggle firearms from Montana to Canada for resale denied federal charges in U.S. District Court in Billings on Wednesday.

Harley Clifford Combres, 28, of Lethbridge, Alberta, pleaded not guilty to attempted illegal export, concealing items for illegal export and being an illegal alien in possession of firearms.

Combres and a co-defendant, Caley Dawn Sinclair, 23, also of Lethbridge, were arrested in Billings on March 27 after attending a gun show.

Federal agents found 12 guns in their vehicle.

Combres, Sinclair and a third defendant in Lethbridge, Shawn Aaron Locke, 26, are suspected of trying to smuggle firearms into Canada for resale, according to investigators with Department of Homeland Security and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Combres, who was not allowed into the United States because he has a criminal history, was illegally entering the country between ports of entry somewhere in Montana, court records said.

Sinclair has not yet appeared for arraignment. The indictment against him remains sealed.

If convicted, Combres faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine. U.S. Magistrate Judge Carolyn Ostby ordered Combres to remain in custody. The case will be heard by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull.

Contact Clair Johnson at cjohnson@billingsgazette.com or 657-1282.

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