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Press Release

Previously Convicted Murderer Sentenced to 5 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm

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

INDIANAPOLIS- Willie Burroughs, 53, of Indianapolis, has been sentenced to 5 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

According to court documents, in June of 2023, IMPD officers began investigating a shooting that occurred on June 13, 2022. The target of this investigation was Willie Burroughs. On June 22, 2023, IMPD officers located Burroughs at Stratford Apartments in Indianapolis and saw him drive off in the passenger side of Chevrolet Equinox.

Officers followed the vehicle and conducted a felony stop of the Equinox in the area of West 38th Street and Moller Road. Burroughs was ordered from the front passenger seat and detained. An officer received consent from the driver to search the Equinox and located one Glock 19 Gen4 9mm semi-automatic pistol under the front passenger side seat. The Glock was fully loaded, with one round in the chamber and 16 rounds in the magazine. Burroughs admitted that the Glock was his.

In 1994, Burroughs was convicted of Murder and Armed Robbery in Marion County, prohibiting him from ever again legally possessing a firearm.

“Illegally armed, repeat violent criminals are responsible for a disproportionate share of the gun violence suffered in Indianapolis and all of our communities These offenses will not be tolerated,” said U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers. “Like this defendant, every offender returning to our community has a choice. If you want to turn your life around, and be there for your family, seek out the services and supporters committed to keeping you safe, alive, and successful. If instead, you choose to carry a firearm, you will return to prison to serve a serious sentence behind federal bars.”

“Armed repeat offenders such as Mr. Burroughs who choose to knowingly possess firearms when they are expressly prohibited from doing so demonstrate a clear disregard for the lives of others,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “The FBI and our partners will continue our commitment to the community to investigate and hold accountable criminals who illegally have these deadly weapons.”

The FBI and IMPD investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Evans Barker. Judge Barker also ordered that Burroughs be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 3 years following his release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Jayson W. McGrath, who prosecuted this case.

This case was brought as part of the LEATH Initiative (Law Enforcement Action to Halt Domestic Violence), named in honor of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) Officer Breann Leath, who was killed in the line of duty while responding to a domestic disturbance call.  A partnership among the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), the IMPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, the LEATH Initiative focuses federal, state, and local law enforcement resources on domestic violence offenders who illegally possess firearms.

This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and gun violence, and to make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. On May 26, 2021, the Department launched a violent crime reduction strategy strengthening PSN based on these core principles: fostering trust and legitimacy in our communities, supporting community-based organizations that help prevent violence from occurring in the first place, setting focused and strategic enforcement priorities, and measuring the results.


Updated March 8, 2024

Project Safe Neighborhoods
Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime