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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Greenwood man indicted on federal firearms charges

Unlawfully possessed a rifle and ammunition near Greenwood Mall this summer

PRESS RELEASE

Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh Minkler announced today federal charges against a Greenwood man who illegally possessed a firearm and ammunition. Christopher C. Byrne, 31, Greenwood, was charged in a two-count indictment with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

“Those who choose to terrorize our communities by illegally carrying firearms will be held accountable,” said Minkler. “No one is above the law and Mr. Byrne will now face federal prosecution for his actions.”

The indictment alleges that on August 15, 2016, Byrne was stopped by Greenwood Police Department (“GPD”) officers for a traffic violation in the vicinity of Greenwood Park Mall. GPD officers observed that the vehicle Byrne was driving did not display a lawful license plate or registration. Instead, in the location where the license plate should have been, the vehicle had a fictitious license plate that stated “PRIVATE,” “No driver license or insurance required,” “Not for commerce-private mode of travel”. Officers asked Byrne for his identification and he replied he did not commit a crime and therefore did not have to identify himself.

Byrne was removed from his vehicle, handcuffed, and subsequently identified by his Indiana identification card located in his wallet. A driver’s records check revealed he was a habitual traffic violator and did not have a valid driver’s license. When officers searched his vehicle, they found a loaded .22 caliber rifle with a scope and an extended clip on the rear seat.

Byrne is not legally permitted to carry a firearm because he is a convicted felon. He was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated from Hendricks County in 2012, and again from Marion County in 2013. He also was also convicted of theft in Marion County in 2015.

“We are pleased U.S. Attorney Minkler is holding Christopher Byrne accountable for his actions on August 15, 2016,” said Johnson County Deputy Prosecutor Rob Seet. “We thank the Greenwood Police Department, the FBI, and the ATF for their hard work to protect the people of Johnson County from a dangerous felon like Byrne.”

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Greenwood, Indiana, Police Department.

According to Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Rinka who is prosecuting the case for the government, Byrne faces up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $250,000 fine if convicted of all crimes.

An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven otherwise in federal court.

Updated March 8, 2017