Billings Man Sentenced to 5 Years After Excavator Robbery
According to the Department of Justice, Erik Stephen Deaner, 46, has been sentenced to five years and two months in prison. Deaner plead guilty in December, 2021, to theft from a federal firearms dealer.
The government alleged in court documentation that on October 21st, 2021, Erik Stephen Deaner stole an excavator from a construction site in Yellowstone County, then drove the excavator to Castle Arms, a federal firearms licensee, using it to tear down a wall and door.
The investigation determined that once inside, Deaner stole five pistols and one antique rifle. Deaner was also determined to have visited the business previously, and behaved oddly.
Deaner admitted to authorities that he stole the excavator to break into the business, and admitted he had stolen the firearms. He stated he knew he was not allowed to possess firearms, but he "liked firearms". All stolen weapons were recovered.