Great Falls man sentenced in federal court for December 2022 incident

A Great Falls felon who admitted to illegally possessing two firearms at his business following a standoff with law enforcement was sentenced in federal court on Sept. 21 to 32 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Stephen Jeffrey Vogel, 35, pleaded guilty in May to prohibited person in possession of firearms.

Chief U.S. District Judge Brian M. Morris presided.

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According to court documents, on Dec. 11, 2022, law enforcement attempted to conduct a welfare check on a woman at a gas station near a business she shared with Vogel after a report that she may have been assaulted and was attempting to hide.

Officers were dispatched to the Sinclair gas station at 3200 10th Ave. S., according to charging documents in district court by the Cascade County Attorney’s Office from the incident.

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Vogel ignored police commands and locked himself inside Wild West Customs, a tattoo parlor, according to federal and district court documents.

The woman had an injury on her head and told law enforcement that Vogel had threatened her with a firearm and assaulted her, according to court documents.

Great Falls Police officers engaged in a nearly three-hour standoff with Vogel before he peacefully surrendered and was arrested.

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He was charged in district court with a felony count of assault with a weapon, misdemeanor partner family member assault and a misdemeanor count of obstructing a peace officer.

Cascade County Attorney Josh Racki said his office dismissed the case so the federal government could prosecute their case.

In a search of the business, officers located a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol and a 12-guage shotgun hidden above ceiling tiles, according to court documents.

In jail calls, Vogel said he hid the firearms knowing law enforcement would seize them if found, according to court documents.

He was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a 2013 felony conviction.

An assistant U.S. attorney prosecuted the case. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Great Falls Police Department and Cascade County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation.