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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 3, 2014

Armed Career Criminal Sentenced To 15 Years. United States Attorney’s Office Seeks Signifcant Penalties For 3 Other Men On Federal Firearms Charges

Hogsett’s Office maintains relentless pace to stem the tide of gun violence

EVANSVILLE - Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced today the sentencing of an armed career criminal and the charging either by criminal complaint or by indictment for federal firearms violations of three other men. Two of those additionally charged may also qualify as armed career criminals, if convicted.

“Gun violence continues to torment Hoosier communities. Those who choose to illegally carry firearms will be held strictly accountable and the revolving door of justice stops here and now. Evansville is a peaceful community and we intend to do everything we can to keep it that way,” Hogsett said.

Hogsett announced that, yesterday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young sentenced Derrick W. Vogt, 33, Tell City, Indiana, to 15 years in federal prison for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and being an armed career criminal. In August of 2013, at the time of his guilty plea, Vogt admitted to possession of a Beretta, Model 3032 Tomcat, .32 caliber pistol.

Vogt’s criminal record includes three felony burglary and four felony theft convictions as well as one felony sexual battery conviction, all in Perry County, Indiana. Vogt was subject to the enhanced penalty under the armed career criminal statutes which impose mandatory minimum sentences for person who have accumulated violent felony convictions.

In addition, Hogsett announced that a federal grand jury had returned two indictments, against other men.

The first indictment alleges Glynn Petticord, 42, of Evansville, possessed a Taurus, .45 caliber pistol, after being found in an east side Evansville hotel by United States Marshals. Petticord has four prior felony convictions for robbery, auto theft, battery and criminal recklessness, dating back to 1994.

The second indictment alleges that Jacob Roy Hammond, 22, of Dover, Tennessee, was in possession of two firearms (a Springfield Arms, .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol and a Walther, .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol) when he was located outside a hotel on the north side of Evansville by the United States Marshals. Hammond has five felony convictions for burglary and one for selling a controlled substance in Tennessee, for a total of six felonies.

Hogsett also announced the filing of a criminal complaint against Cornelius Ratliff, 29, of Evansville, for knowingly possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. On March 17, 2014, the Evansville Police Department made a routine traffic stop. Ratliff was a passenger in the vehicle. He was asked to exit the vehicle so that a search of the vehicle could ensue. Upon exiting the vehicle, Ratliff ran away and, upon being pursued, pulled a silver handgun from his waistband and aimed it at Evansville police officers.

Hogsett further observed, “if we are successful in taking all of these individuals off the streets, a total of 21 felony convictions go with them. That goes a long way toward improving the safety of communities throughout southwestern Indiana.”

Upon his arrest, a background check of Ratliff revealed a felony conviction for second degree murder as well as two felony convictions for being a felon in possession of a firearm.

This sentencing and all additional charges come as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). Launched in March 2011, the VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally. In the year preceding the initiative, there were just 14 defendants charged with federal gun crimes by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the nearly three years since, more than 225 defendants have been charged.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd S. Shellenbarger and Assistant U. S. Attorney Lauren Wheatley, who are prosecuting the cases for the government, Hammond and Petticord face a maximum of life in prison and a $250,000 fine, based on the armed career criminal sentencing enhancement. An initial hearing will be scheduled in Evansville, Indiana, before a United States federal district court Magistrate Judge.

An indictment and criminal compliant are only charges and are not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated January 26, 2015