Two Evansville men charged with gun violations
Pair found with semi-automatic weapons to retaliate for an earlier shooting
Evansville – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler today announced federal charges against two Evansville men for illegally possessing firearms. Austin Pam, 20, and Dugniqio Forest, 20, were charged by a federal grand jury in Evansville this week.
“My office has no tolerance for individuals who choose to break the law and illegally possess firearms,” said Minkler. “Making our neighborhoods safer by holding criminals accountable is a top priority.”
On January 18, 2015, Pam and Forest were passengers in a vehicle which was stopped by the Evansville Police Department. As EPD officers approached the vehicle, they observed a loaded semiautomatic SKS assault rifle in Pam’s lap and a Tec 9, 9 mm semi-automatic weapon on the floor of the vehicle where Forest was seated.
Law enforcement later learned that Pam and Forest, both alleged members of the “300 Wag Block” criminal street gang, had been at the C.K.Newsome Center, downtown Evansville earlier that day, when a fight broke out. Shots were fired inside the center and all parties fled. Pam and Forest allegedly armed themselves with the assault rifle and Tech 9 weapon to retaliate against rival gang members for the shooting.
Pam has prior felony convictions for possession of a controlled substance and resisting law enforcement. Forest has prior felony convictions for receiving stolen property and possession of cocaine.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Evansville Police Department.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mathew Brookman who is prosecuting this case for the government, both defendants face up to ten years in prison if convicted.
An indictment is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.