INDIANAPOLIS– Nicholas Hines, 39, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 102 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.
According to court documents, on April 9, 2014, Hines was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and was sentenced to 92 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release by the U.S. Probation Office. Hines was released from prison in March of 2020 and began serving his supervised release sentence. As part of the conditions of Hines’ supervised release sentence, and because he is a convicted felon, under federal law Hines is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
On December 15, 2020, federal probation officers visited Hines’ residence on Eastern Avenue in Indianapolis to conduct a compliance check. Hines met the officers at his front door but was reluctant to unlock the door and allow the officers inside his residence. Officers negotiated with Hines for several minutes before Hines unlocked the door. Hines was placed in handcuffs while the officers searched the residence.
The officers searched two upstairs bedrooms and found a box of live .38 caliber ammunition in one of the bedrooms. The box contained nineteen rounds of live ammunition, and officers estimated that five or six rounds of ammunition were missing from the box. Hines was interviewed by the officers, and he admitted that the ammunition was his, but he denied having a firearm.
U.S. Probation Officers tried to reach Hines after the December 15, 2020, visit, but they were unsuccessful, and Hines was no longer accepting phone calls. A warrant was issued to arrest Hines for violation of the terms of his release. On December 18, 2020, a federal criminal complaint was filed against Hines for unlawful possession of ammunition by a convicted felon and another warrant was issued for his arrest. Federal law enforcement officers organized a search to locate Hines to arrest him for his outstanding warrants.
On January 14, 2021, officers located Hines at a Red Roof Inn on Lynhurst Drive in Indianapolis. Hines and a woman were seen exiting the front door of the hotel and walking towards a vehicle. The officers attempted to arrest Hines, but he ran, and a foot pursuit ensued. Hines ran behind the hotel, jumped a fence, and entered an apartment complex before a pursuing officer deployed his taser, causing Hines to fall to the ground. Hines rolled over on his back revealing a revolver in his right hand. As another officer tried to approach Hines, Hines held the revolver to his own head. After a five-minute standoff, Hines dropped the revolver and was taken into custody. The revolver was loaded with five rounds of the same brand of .38 caliber ammunition found in Hines’ upstairs bedroom during the probation search.
Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana; Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office; and Joseph “Dan” McClain, U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Indiana; made the announcement.
The FBI investigated the case. The U.S. Marshals Service provided valuable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. As part of the sentence, Judge Pratt ordered that Hines be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for two years following his release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jayson W. McGrath who prosecuted this case.
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.