NEW ALBANY, IN – Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, today announced the indictment of Paul James Hoskins, 45, Charlestown Indiana. A grand jury indicted Hoskins on one count of felony possession of a firearm.
“This office has been vigorous in our prosecution of felons in possession of firearms,” said Hogsett. “This defendant represents the worst of the worst as far as career criminals go and it is our job to make sure these people are off the streets and not endangering the stability and peace of Hoosier communities.”
On June 16, 2014, law enforcement officials, upon suspecting Hoskins of engaging in the distribution of methamphetamine and protecting the narcotics with firearms, executed a search warrant on his residence in Charlestown. There, officers allegedly found a 9 mm handgun and multiple rounds of ammunition.
Upon further investigation, and the cooperation of an informant, it was determined that Hoskins also allegedly stored firearms at his parent’s residence, next door. Law enforcement obtained consent to search from Hoskins’ parents. During this consent search, two firearms were found in a rear bedroom. Also in this bedroom was a padlocked closet allegedly storing over 30 firearms, including a sawed-off short-barreled 12 gauge shotgun. A key for the padlocked door was found on the dresser of Hoskins’ bedroom in his own residence.
This prosecution is a result of a joint effort between the ATF (Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms) office in Louisville, Indiana State Police, Clark County Sheriff’s Department and the Charlestown Police Department.
By federal law, it is illegal for a prior felon to own or possess a firearm. The Federal Armed Career Criminal Act further punishes an individual who possesses a firearm and has at least three prior violent felony convictions with a fifteen year mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment.
Hoskins felony record spans both Indiana and Kentucky and includes, among others:
Resisting Law Enforcement Causing Bodily Harm, 1993
Fleeing & Eluding Law Enforcement, 1994
Wanton Endangerment, 1st Degree, 1994
Possession of Marijuana with Prior Conviction, Possession of a Concealed Handgun with Prior Conviction, 1994
Resisting Law Enforcement, 2000
Wanton Endangerment, 1st Degree, 2001
“This office is dedicated to taking violent criminals off the streets and has seen great success in this goal,” said Hogsett. “I am proud of the partnerships we have forged with state and local partners combating crime in our Hoosier communities.”
This prosecution was part of the United States Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative. The United States Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative began in 2011, and is intended to focus on the “worst of the worst” violent offenders by marshaling federal resources to provide local partners the additional tools they may need to succeed in their effort to promote peace. Additionally, federal defendants serve 85 % of their sentence.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Wheatley, who is prosecuting the case on behalf of the government, if convicted, Hoskins can serve a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.
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.