- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 13, 2017

MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - A judge has ordered the continued detention of a Montana man authorities captured after he fled to Mexico while facing charges of illegally exporting handguns from the United States.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah Lynch on Tuesday ordered 37-year-old Eric Daniel Doyle of Kalispell held pending further proceedings. He faces 44 counts of illegal gun exports and related crimes. He has pleaded not guilty. A trial date has not been set.

Doyle was captured last month in Sonora, Mexico and returned to Montana.

Authorities allege he ran an elaborate scheme to export handguns to customers in countries with restrictive gun laws.

Lynch said Doyle was a flight risk because he traveled to Mexico shortly after learning about the federal investigation and because he faces a mandatory prison sentence if he is found guilty.

Four alleged accomplices previously pleaded guilty.

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