INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today the sentencing of James I. Bowling, age 41, of Manilla, to 27 months (2 years, 3 months) in federal prison. This follows a September 2013 jury trial, at which Bowling was found guilty of providing false information when purchasing a firearm and of receiving a firearm while under indictment.
“The facts of this case show that Mr. Bowling thought he was above the law, and that recklessness put this community in danger,” Hogsett said. “This case is an example of what our collaborative Violent Crime Initiative aims to accomplish in Hoosier communities. This effort isn’t about making new laws - we are focused on enforcing those laws already on the books.”
An indictment filed last November charged that on July 19, 2012, Bowling was found to have falsely applied to purchase a .357 caliber revolver at a Rushville sporting goods store. In making that purchase, Bowling filed sworn statements with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, indicating that he was not under felony indictment or information. In fact, the defendant was aware of felony charges pending against him in Rush County Superior Court. Bowling was also convicted of illegally possessing the weapon in question.
These indictments come as part of the U.S. Attorney's Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), and are the result of collaborative investigative efforts by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Indiana State Police.
Launched in March 2011, the VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally. In the year preceding the initiative, there were just 14 defendants charged with federal gun crimes by the U.S. Attorney's Office. In the nearly two years since, more than 200 defendants have been charged.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Rinka, who prosecuted the case for the government, Bowling was ordered to serve 2 years of federally-supervised release at the end of his prison term, and was fined $2,000. Under federal law, Bowling is required to serve at least 85% of his prison term within a federal correctional facility.