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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, October 13, 2022

New Mexico Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison

For Firearm Offense

SOUTH BEND – Joshua L. Metts, age 41, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty on his plea of guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Metts was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.

According to documents in the case, in October 2021, the staff at the Four Winds Casino in South Bend found a baggie of methamphetamine, cocaine, and fentanyl that Metts had dropped in the casino. The next day, Metts returned to the casino and was arrested by Pokagon Tribal Police. Tribal police searched Metts’ vehicle in the parking lot and found a loaded handgun and ammunition along with a small baggie of methamphetamine, syringes, and a tablespoon with fentanyl residue. Metts has a prior federal felony conviction out of the District of New Mexico, and as such is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition.

“Metts’ sentence demonstrates that crimes committed on federally recognized Indian tribal land, held in trust for the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, will be prosecuted,” said United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson. “The United States recognizes an obligation of service to tribal communities across the country, and it holds a strong commitment to supporting and furthering public safety on all tribal land. My Office has an important relationship with the Pokagon Band and is committed to working with them to foster public safety and the safety of its tribal citizens, while respecting the Pokagon Band’s sovereignty and culture.”

“The conviction of Joshua Metts is a great example of teamwork between the Pokagon Band Tribal Police and the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said William Lux, Chief of Police, Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Tribal Police. “The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is a federally-recognized sovereign nation that is committed to working with our law enforcement partners within the Department of Justice to protect all who visit the Tribe’s trust land and to prosecute those who violate the law on Pokagon land.” 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Pokagon Tribal Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Luke N. Reilander and Jerome W. McKeever.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.

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Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Indian Country Law and Justice
Firearms Offenses
Updated October 13, 2022