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Press Release

Indianapolis man sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment for unlawful possession of a firearm

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

Armed career criminal had three prior felonies on his record


Indianapolis - United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler today announced the sentencing of an Indianapolis man for being an armed career criminal, having illegally possessed a firearm. John Foster, 48, Indianapolis, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker in federal court.

“Keeping our communities safe from violent criminals like Mr. Foster remains a top priority at the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said Minkler. “The narrative is simple; if you illegally possess a firearm and terrorize Hoosier neighborhoods, you will be arrested, held without bond, convicted and sent to federal prison.”

Foster was confronted by officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) on October 5, 2015, on the Southside of Indianapolis. Officers saw Foster driving a stolen SUV near the intersection of Southport Road and South Meridian Street. When he saw the officers following him, he drove through the front yard of a business and fled south on Meridian Street. Several weeks prior, Foster walked away from a work release facility in Oldham County, Kentucky.

After a short pursuit, IMPD officers stopped Foster in the parking lot of Perry Meridian Middle School where they observed him holding a pistol in his hand as he got out of the stolen vehicle. During the time of the incident, school was in session and several children were present. The school was placed on lockdown until the incident was over.

Foster cannot legally possess a firearm because he has three prior violent felony convictions. He was convicted of dealing cocaine in 2006, burglary in 1988, and robbery in 1986, all in Marion County.

The Armed Career Criminal Act mandates a minimum 15-year sentence to anyone possessing a firearm after three prior convictions for serious drug offenses or violent felonies.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case.

“The defendant’s disregard for the safety of our community by unlawfully possessing a firearm, posed a threat and underlines the necessity of his spending significant time removed from society,” said Trevor Velinor, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners at IMPD to ensure that individuals who are threating our streets with firearms violence are brought to justice.”

According to Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey D. Preston, who prosecuted this case for the government, Foster must serve three years of supervised release following his sentence.

Updated March 22, 2017