Indianapolis – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today, Brian Jones, 30, Hamilton, Ohio, was sentenced to 8 years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge James R. Sweeney II. Jones previously pleaded guilty to charges of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
“During these challenging times, Indianapolis has seen an increase in domestic violence, murders, and shootings.” said Minkler. “I commend IMPD and ATF for getting Mr. Jones off our streets and into a federal prison before the results of his pattern of criminal behavior became more tragic.”
On May 7, 2019, IMPD responded to a 911 call for help from a residence located at 4006 Independence Drive, Indianapolis. When officers arrived, they were met by the visibly upset and frightened female victim. She said that her ex-boyfriend, Brian Jones, had arrived at her residence uninvited. She allowed Jones into the residence because she was fearful of him forcing his way in. She further stated that Jones had a small bag with him when he entered and then he went to sleep.
When Jones woke up, he became upset and accused her of taking his cell phone. Jones had a firearm with him and pointed it at her and threatened to kill her and the children. She was able to sneak downstairs to call 911 and meet police. Officers later discovered that Jones had exited the residence at some point. Officers located a firearm and small amounts of methamphetamine, heroin, and marijuana in a small blue bag that Jones arrived with.
Jones is not legally permitted to own or possess a firearm because he has more than eight felony convictions, including a previous federal conviction for illegally possession a firearm. His convictions include three firearms convictions, trafficking in controlled substances, and participating in a criminal gang. The evidence at the sentencing hearing revealed that Jones pointed a loaded 9mm semiautomatic handgun at his ex-girlfriend and threatened to kill her and her two minor children. Jones currently also faces pending violations of Ohio state parole and violations of his supervised release from the Southern District of Ohio.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
“Keeping guns out of the hands of serious violent felons is a critical part of the IMPD’s efforts to address violence,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “We will continue working alongside U.S. Attorney Minkler and the ATF to secure federal convictions for those who illegally-possess firearms and make Indianapolis a safer community.”
“No one, especially children, should live in fear of another. Domestic violence will not be tolerated. My hope is Mr. Jones’ victims can now live and sleep better, knowing he will not be able to threaten them, “ stated Roland H. Herndon, ATF’s Special Agent in Charge of the Columbus Field Division . “When convicted felons choose to knowingly possess and use firearms to threaten or bring harm to citizens, agents will pursue any and all available charges to quickly remove the offender from the community. ATF continues to display its full commitment to keeping the Indianapolis community safe through our partnership with the USAO and IMPD.”
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Pamela S Domash, who prosecuted this case for the government, Jones must also serve two years of supervised release after his prison sentence.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution sentencing demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to prosecuting those who commit serious firearms offenses. (See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Sections 2.2)