Probation check leads to gun and drug bust as part of IMPD plan to crackdown on illegal guns

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- An Indianapolis man is arrested as part of a city wide crackdown on illegal guns.

This week police came to the home near 21st and Franklin on a probation check and claim they found heroin and handguns inside.  Police arrested Johnny Byers.

The arrest is part of a much larger plan by the IMPD, FBI and Marion county sheriff’s and prosecutors to get guns out of the hands of criminals.

“We are applying pressure,” said IMPD Sgt. Chris Wilburn. “We as an agency along with our federal partners have drawn a line in the sand and said enough is enough.”

In just the last two months, the IMPD has sent out numerous pictures of guns they’ve recovered in similar arrests.  Because a vast majority of the murders come from gunshots, city leaders know they can't cut crime numbers without seizing more illegal guns.

“We have had enough and the reason is because the community has had enough,” said Wilburn.

Court records show Byers was on probation on for attempted murder in St. Joseph county.  The bust is the latest example of the IMPD following through on a promise mayor Joe Hogsett made in mid-December.

“Effectively immediately I’ve ordered IMPD to launch a crackdown to take guns out of the hands of illegally armed felons,” said Hogsett in December.

The crackdown includes establishing a gun crime intelligence center to connect shell casings and firearms to serial offenders.  This year the U.S. Attorney has also agreed to prosecute some gun offenders in federal court.

“Having assistant United States attorneys on our districts, this is unprecedented and this will continue,” said Wilburn.

That’s why the IMPD has a warning for people like Johnny Byers.

“If you are in possession of a firearm and you shouldn’t be.  We are coming after you,” said Wilburn.

Byers was arrested on gun and drug charges, but he could also have additional federal charges filed in the case.

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