Indianapolis moves to federally prosecute illegal gun carriers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — After learning about the arrests in the quadruple murder, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced new strategies to keep violent offenders and illegal guns off Indianapolis streets.

They’ve implemented seven new strategies, but the Mayor described three as “potential game-changers” to the violence in the circle city: the expansion of targeted federal enforcement (Crime Gun Intelligence Center), expansion of community violent crime prevention funding and beat policing.

However, the biggest focus is on the 25% expansion of the Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC). In recent years, the CGIC has recovered thousands of illegal guns in recent years. This increase will allow gun cases to be prosecuted at the federal level.

“Guns illegally possessed and those who carry them (are) public enemy number one in Indianapolis,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett.

Hogsett sent a strong message to violent offenders after announcing the expansion and partnership on a local, state and federal level.

“There is at least one variable that is common to most homicides: a gun. More specifically a gun that is illegally possessed,” said Hogsett.

The CGIC has led to hundreds of arrests and seized guns by treating each weapon like its own crime scene. As of February 14, police recorded 387 arrests and 297 gun seizures. Investigators gather DNA and fingerprints.

“If you are in possession of an illegal gun in Indianapolis. We will find you. We will arrest you. We will prosecute you and we will send you to federal prison for quite a long time,” said Hogsett.

Now the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) and prosecutors are going after the trigger-pullers by using the federal rules of criminal procedure. There are three tools that will help prosecute violent offenders.

The first tool is pre-trial detention.

“If you can prove to a judge that an individual is a serious risk to commit another crime. Is a serious risk as a danger to the community that individuals will be held without bond,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler.

The second tool is no bargaining.

“If you are charged with a gun crime it is not reduced to a non-gun crime. If you are charged with a gun crime you either go to trial on the gun crime or you plead guilty on the gun crime,” said Minkler.

The third tool is the sentencing guidelines.

“The recommendation is that they go to prison. They don’t go to community corrections, they don’t go to a halfway house, they don’t go to home detention, they go to prison,” said Minkler.

They are hoping this expanded strategy will help keep violent offenders from being caught and released, giving families peace of mind.

“It’s that important, the community deserves this. People and families are affected by violence deserve this,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor.

Hogsett believes the expansion of beat policing in neighborhoods will enhance the community. He also believes a greater investment on crime prevention and intervention can enhance the relationships between offenders, witnesses, and police.

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