Evansville – Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced the indictment of Larry Tomlinson, 37, Evansville, today. A grand jury indicted Tomlinson on one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and one count of possession of a sawed off shotgun.
“This office has seen that prior felons with firearms are bad news for the safety of Indiana,” said Hogsett. “My office will continue to do all we can to help make our Southwestern Indiana communities safe.”
On May 29, 2014, law enforcement received a tip that a customer at a local hotel had been allegedly dealing narcotics and may be in possession of a firearm. Officers observed Tomlinson leave the hotel in a car with another person driving. The two were pulled over while driving and Tomlinson allegedly contemplated fleeing before complying with the officers orders. Officers searched the driver and Tomlinson and both consented to a search of the vehicle. When officers were able to handcuff Tomlinson, they found a sawed off shotgun in the bag he was carrying, next to the vehicle.
Under federal law, it is illegal for one with a prior felony conviction to possess a firearm. Tomlinson’s felony record is as follows:
• Burglary, Vanderburgh County, March 1994
• Auto Theft and Resisting Law Enforcement, Vanderburgh County, August 1996
• Possession of Cocaine and Carrying a Handgun without a Permit, Vanderburgh County, August 1996
• Robbery and Carrying a Handgun without a Permit, Vanderburgh County, May 2001
• Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, Vanderburgh County, April 2007
Due to Tomlinson’s extensive criminal history, he is subject to the enhanced penalty as an armed career criminal which imposes a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.
This investigation is part of the U. S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative, (VCI). Launched in 2011, the VCI produced dramatic increases in the number of gun-related charges brought federally. Since then, nearly 235 defendants have been charged.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Wheatley who is prosecuting this case for the government, Tomlinson could face 25 years and three years of supervised release, if convicted of both charges.
An indictment is only a charge and is 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.