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Man accused of having guns when ordered not to, triggering West Yellowstone investigation

Montana

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Charles Gibson Bailey | Billings Gazette

WEST YELLOWSTONE, Montana (Billings Gazette) — The arrest of a man accused of violating a restraining order and having several guns when ordered not to triggered an investigation in West Yellowstone that closed a residential block overnight.

Charles Gibson Bailey, 32, appeared Friday in U.S. District Court in Missoula. He’s accused of having a firearm while under a court order restraining him from harassing, stalking, or threatening an intimate partner.

After his arrest, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and several other agencies searched a home on 500 block of Firehole Avenue in West Yellowstone for hazardous materials, according to a news release by Gallatin County. During their investigation, agents closed the block Thursday and reopened it Friday morning.

RELATED: Federal investigation prompts closure of West Yellowstone street

According to court documents:

On Feb. 26, a court ordered protection was issued against Bailey by a former partner. Bailey was ordered to stay at least 300 feet away from her, as well as her house, workplace, and car. The order restrained him from harassing, stalking her, threatening or committing acts of violence against her.

On Monday her home surveillance footage showed Bailey walking to her apartment door in West Yellowstone. Footage showed him spraying an “unidentified liquid” on the doorknob and deadbolt of the door. Later he told officers that his fingerprints were difficult to get because he’d recently used acid without gloves.

Later that day, a U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer, Ryan Linhart, noticed a black, Ford F350 truck parked in front of a hardware store in West Yellowstone with a revolver on the driver’s side dashboard. He went back into the store and talked to Bailey. Bailey said it was his truck and he knew the gun was on the dashboard.

Linhart contacted local sheriff’s deputies and police, who arrested Bailey on Monday at the hardware store, for violating the restraining order against him and having a firearm. During the arrest an officer noticed another revolver and what he recognized as an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle in the front passenger seat, a semi-automatic pistol, and a rifle in the truck.

On Wednesday, his truck was searched by an ATF agent and two bomb technicians. They found six guns and numerous rounds of ammunition in the truck. Bailey said he knew the guns were there and that he thought he could legally own them.

Authorities stressed there was no threat to public safety. ATF continues to investigate.

This article was originally published in the Billings Gazette, a fellow CNN affiliate. It is used here with permission.

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