Hogsett Announces Update In Federal Prosecution Of Bartholomew County Man
INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Samuel E. Sallee, age 55, a resident of Bartholomew County, has been brought into federal custody after being charged with illegally possessing a firearm. Sallee’s criminal history includes a number of prior felonies, including a 2005 charge of intimidation in Jennings County, a 1989 charge of driving while intoxicated in Bartholomew County, and additional charges related to the use of controlled substances.
“With the launch of our Violent Crime Initiative, this office pledged to fully support our local law enforcement partners in their public safety efforts,” Hogsett said. “We continue to work closely with Bartholomew County law enforcement in this matter, and we are committed to ensuring this defendant is held to account for any crimes he has committed.”
An indictment returned on May 14, 2013, alleges that law enforcement found Sallee to have possessed a Ruger, Model 10/22 .22 caliber rifle, serial number 157425. Due to his prior felony convictions, Sallee is not legally permitted to possess a firearm.
Court documents unsealed today provide additional details as to the investigation and arrest of Sallee. According to the criminal complaint, four victims (three male, one female) were found deceased at a Bartholomew County residence on May 11, 2013. Investigators allege that Sallee had been present at the residence earlier in the day, where he was allegedly attempting to trade one of the victims a .22 caliber rifle for some quantity of methamphetamine.
A search warrant was executed at Sallee’s residence on May 14, 2013. During the search of a detached garage, law enforcement allegedly located the Ruger .22 caliber rifle, as well as additional evidence, including several pieces of jewelry that have been identified as having belonged to the female victim.
The defendant had previously been held in the Brown County jail on unrelated state charges, but had a “hold” placed on him as a result of the federal indictment. Upon his scheduled release this morning, Sallee was taken into federal custody by agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and transported to Indianapolis for an initial appearance.
This prosecution comes as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative, and is the result of a collaborative investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the U.S. Marshals Service.
Announced in March of 2011, the Violent Crime Initiative represents a district-wide strategy to work with local law enforcement and county prosecutors to combat drug traffickers and criminals that use and carry firearms in their illegal activities. 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 P. Brookman, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Sallee faces up to ten years in federal prison if he is convicted. A criminal complaint or an indictment are only charges and are 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.