EVANSVILLE – An Evansville man was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison today for a firearms offense related to his shooting of two individuals.
According to court documents, on June 13, 2020, the Evansville Police Department responded to the intersection of U.S. 41 and Covert Avenue on a report of a car crash and multiple gunshots being fired. When officers arrived, they located an overturned vehicle, as well as two victims – an unconscious adult male and a conscious juvenile female – who had sustained gunshot wounds. The juvenile female victim told law enforcement that Paje Capone Diaz, 24, of Evansville, had opened fire on them from the front passenger seat of another vehicle.
During their investigation, officers located spent rounds of Nosler 10mm ammunition at the scene of the shooting. Officers also found a half-empty box of Nosler 10mm ammunition inside a residence that the defendant visited the night of and morning after the shooting. Officers located the receipt for the purchase of that ammunition inside a vehicle associated with the defendant, and law enforcement subsequently obtained surveillance video footage of the defendant buying that ammunition two days before the shooting. At the defendant’s sentencing hearing, United States District Court Judge Richard L. Young found by a preponderance of the evidence that the defendant used or possessed that ammunition in connection with the shootings of the victims.
The defendant was previously convicted of a firearms-related felony in Vanderburgh County, and as a result, was legally prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.
Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Evansville Police Chief Billy Bolin made the announcement.
The Evansville Police Department investigated the case. The Vanderburgh County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation also provided valuable assistance. As part of the sentence, Judge Young ordered that the defendant be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristian R. Mukoski 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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.