INDIANAPOLIS- Evelio Santana, 40, of Indianapolis, Indiana has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to two counts of illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
According to court documents, on November 15, 2021, investigators with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Indiana State Police, and the FBI, were conducting surveillance on Evelio Santana who had six outstanding warrants for his arrest. Investigators watched Santana pull into the parking lot of a gas station on 38th street in a Polaris UTV. This Polaris UTV was later discovered to have been stolen in Marion County, Indiana.
IMPD officers approached Santana and attempted to place him in custody. As the officers made their presence known, Santana took off running. Eventually, officers arrested him after he fell during the foot pursuit. During a search of Santana’s person, a loaded, semi-automatic handgun fell out of his waistband.
That same day, investigators searched a stolen motorhome which had been in Santana’s possession and recovered a Sig Sauer M400 rifle. The defendant admitted to knowingly possessing both firearms.
Santana is prohibited from ever lawfully possessing a firearm due to his previous felony convictions of two counts of robbery, burglary, auto theft, and multiple thefts.
“Deadly weapons in the hands of violent criminals fuel the shootings and deaths that have devastating impacts on our families,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “I commend the FBI, ISP, and IMPD for their efforts to make our communities safer and hold illegally armed criminals accountable. This sentence should send a message to everyone returning to the community after a conviction for a violent felony. We want you to be successful, contributing, and law-abiding. If you choose to pick up a gun instead, you face a serious term in federal prison.”
“The message sent by this sentence is clear—if you have a prior conviction that makes possessing a firearm illegal and you choose to ignore that prohibition, you will face significant prison time,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “In partnership with other federal, state, and local law enforcement, the FBI will continue to work diligently to protect our communities from those who have no regard for the law.”
“The Indiana State Police will continue to work with its law enforcement partners at all levels to help keep firearms out of the hands of those who are not legally allowed to possess them, and to hold them accountable for their unlawful actions,” said Captain Ron Galaviz of the Indiana State Police.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, IMPD and Indiana State Police investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge, Matthew P. Brookman. Judge Brookman also ordered that Santana be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 3 years following his release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Jayson W. McGrath, who prosecuted this case.
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.