Western Montana Crime News

Jun 12, 2011 6:41 PM by Dennis Bragg (KPAX/KAJ Media Center)

Lolo shooting suspect has long history of conflict, run-ins with police

The man who is hiding from Missoula County deputies in the woods below Lolo Pass has a long history of run-ins with police and possession of firearms, including his involvement in a plot of assassinate Flathead County officials.

Deputies are trying to locate David Burgert in the vicinity of Wagon Mountain, where he was chased after officers tried to contact him near the Fort Fizzle historic site west of Lolo.

Authorities say Burgert fled and was chased to the area near the Lumberjack Saloon. Shots were fired but no one was injured.

Burgert has a long history of conflict with local and federal authorities, and is perhaps most notorious for his leadership of the "Project 7" militia in Flathead County.

That group, reportedly named for the "7" on Flathead County license plates, had been involved in what federal investigators called a plot to kill judges and police and start a revolution to overthrow the U.S. Government.

Back in 2002, Burgert and others in the group were caught with thousands of rounds of ammunition, machine guns and other firearms, pipe bombs and information about police officers, judges and their families. He was arrested after a 24-hour standoff with police.

Burgert was initially sentenced to 10-years in prison, but the conviction was later overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in 2005. Burgert was then re-sentenced in 2007 to eight years and four months in prison with three years of supervised release for charges of firearms possession. Some of that time had already been served during the time of his re-sentencing.

Burgert is out of prison now on those conditions of probation.

In addition to the 2002 case, Burgert is named in more than a dozen criminal and civil cases over the past 20-years, starting with federal bankruptcy proceedings.

Contact Dennis Bragg

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