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Press Release

Repeat Violent Criminal Sentenced to 22 Years in Federal Prison for Armed Robbery of an Indianapolis Gas Station

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

INDIANAPOLIS- Damon Smithson, 54, of Indianapolis has been sentenced to twenty-two years in federal prison after pleading guilty to interference with commerce by robbery, brandishing a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and unlawfully possessing a firearm.

According to court documents, on November 28, 2022, Smithson entered a Shell Gas station located on the northeast side of Indianapolis. Upon entering, he did not find anyone working, so he walked around the building until he found an employee sweeping outside. At that time, Smithson brandished a small revolver and ordered the employee to enter the business and give him all the money in the cash register. The employee complied with the demand and opened the register drawer. Smithson removed all the money from the register and fled the gas station.

On December 13, 2022, Smithson was arrested by IMPD. During the arrest, officers found a small .38 caliber revolver, which matched the revolver brandished during the robbery.

At the time of his arrest, Smithson had been previously convicted of multiple felonies, including armed robbery and two separate counts of robbery. As a convicted felon, he is prohibited under federal law from ever possessing a firearm.

“Many gun crimes are committed by repeat criminals who have no legal business having a firearm,” said Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana “The serious prison sentence imposed here demonstrates that armed, repeat criminals will be held fully accountable in federal court when they terrorize our communities. Our community will be safe from this defendant for decades thanks to the hard work of the FBI, IMPD, and our federal prosecutor.” 

“The defendant had a pattern of violent activity including armed robbery and this sentence will ensure residents of our community will no longer have to fear they may be a victim of his violence,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “This is another great example of the power of partnerships between agencies to protect our residents.”

FBI and IMPD investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. Judge Stinson also ordered that Smithson be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison and pay a $700 fine.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy C. Fugate, 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.



Contact: Kelsie Clayton

Communications and Community Outreach Officer

Updated November 28, 2023

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime