INDIANAPOLIS – Ariel Campbell, 28, was sentenced to 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to making false statements in connection with the purchase of a firearm.
According to court documents, on February 26, 2021, Campbell purchased an AR-style pistol with a high-capacity magazine from American Arms, a federally licensed firearms dealer in Bloomington, Indiana. When she made the purchase, Campbell represented that she was the actual buyer of the firearm, when in fact, she was purchasing it for convicted serious violent felon, Antione Sutton.
Video surveillance footage from American Arms shows Campbell entering the business with Sutton. Both individuals are seen on camera looking at various firearms and accessories on multiple occasions in February 2021. Sutton attempted to put money towards purchasing a rifle from American Arms and told the store employee that Campbell would pay the remaining balance and fill out the required ATF firearms purchase form. Campbell indicated on the form that she was the actual buyer of the firearm, which was a false statement.
A search of Campbell’s cellphone revealed text messages between her and Sutton, in which she asked what kind of ammunition she should buy and how much. While Campbell was physically in the American Arms store, Sutton sent her a screenshot of the specific gun he wanted from an online listing, to which Campbell replied with a photo of the same gun in-store. Campbell also texted, “I’ll grab guns for you whenever, I really don’t care.”
The pistol was recovered by law enforcement at Sutton’s residence on March 5, 2021. Campbell also attempted to purchase two more handguns on Sutton’s behalf on March 2, 2021, but those transactions were delayed, and she was not transferred the firearms.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers and Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), Columbus Field Division made the announcement.
“Those who believe they can circumvent firearm laws by purchasing on behalf of convicted felons are just as culpable in driving gun violence,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “These individuals may be able to legally purchase a firearm at the time, but they are still engaging in serious criminal activity that provides dangerous felons with the ability to arm themselves and traffic more guns. They are in no way less to blame for the murders and violence we see every day and we will work to hold them accountable.”
The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), with the assistance of the Bloomington Police Department. The sentence was imposed by Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. As part of the sentence, Chief Judge Pratt ordered that Campbell be supervised by the U.S. Probation office for 3 years following her release from prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Kelsey L. Massa, who prosecuted the case.