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Justice News

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

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Hogsett Announces Two Federal Gun Crime Sentencings

Hogsett and Curry continue collaboration of prosecution at both a federal and local level to make Indianapolis streets safer

INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced two recent sentences today for federal firearms violations that exemplify the strong working relationship between the United States Attorney’s Office and the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, a collaboration that makes Indianapolis neighborhoods safer.

Michael Poge, 46, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 70 months (nearly six years) and Nicholas Hines 31, Indianapolis was sentenced to 92 months (nearly eight years) in federal prison both for illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

Poge was arrested by IMPD officers in May 2013, in the 8800 block of East 41st Place when he was involved in a violent disturbance. He was in possession of a revolver loaded with three live rounds and two that had recently been discharged. Hines was arrested by IMPD officers in July 2013 when they visited Hines’ home on the near Eastside during a probation sweep. There they found a .40 caliber pistol that belonged to Hines. Officers also found a pair of pants with a holster that fit the gun, which indicated Hines was regularly carrying the weapon. Between them, the two men accumulated 14 felonies, all committed in Marion County.

“Credit should go where it is due. Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry saw the need to improve the cooperation between his office and the United States Attorney’s Office. As part of his vision, Prosecutor Curry has since cross-designated several of his best prosecutors to screen gun cases and make thoughtful decisions about whether to prosecute repeat violent offenders in state court or in federal court. In this sense, Terry and his office have always been ‘out front’ in the challenge of ridding Indianapolis of the high level of gun violence it has experienced,” Hogsett explained.

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. In 2011, only 14 firearms charges were filed. Since then, over 325 firearms cases have been prosecuted. By charging these cases federally, violent felons have received 50% more time than they would have received in state courts and in several cases, they received over 300% higher sentences. Additionally, federal defendants serve 85 % of their sentence.

“Working closely with the Marion County Prosecutor and his staff, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to pledge federal resources to help stem the tide of violent crime in Indianapolis,” said Hogsett. “Working together is the single most effective way to help make our communities safer and these sentences support that pledge by taking the most violent offenders, who terrorize our neighborhoods off our streets.”

According to Special Assistant U.S. Attorney (SAUSA) Thomas Lupke, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Poge and Hines face three years of supervised release after their sentence. Lupke currently serves as a SAUSA for Hogsett’s office and splits his time as a deputy prosecutor with the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office where he specializes in narcotic- and gun-related cases.

Updated January 26, 2015