United States Attorney Announces Guilty Verdict Against Anderson Man On Federal Firearms Charges
INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Dr. Bruce E. Jones, PhD, age 66, of Anderson, has been found guilty of illegally possessing firearms and ammunition after a four day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt. The defendant, a previously licensed family and addiction counselor in Madison County, now faces up to thirty years in federal prison.
“Thanks to the tireless efforts of prosecutors and our law enforcement partners, we have brought to justice a person whose total disregard for the rule of law was a danger to this community,” Hogsett said. “This case represents exactly what our Violent Crime Initiative is all about – collaborating across jurisdictions to make Central Indiana a safer place to live and work.”
An investigation of Jones was launched by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2010, and search warrants were executed in May of that year. Investigators found evidence of federal firearms violations at three different properties owned by Jones. This included two locations in Madison County, as well as a cabin in rural Montana. The FBI was assisted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as local law enforcement agencies.
All told, those search warrants revealed an illegal arsenal of four dozen firearms and 14,000 rounds of ammunition. Jones was not entitled to possess these weapons due to his 1984 conviction for dealing in a controlled substance. The defendant served three years in prison for that crime, but later became a practicing counselor with a doctorate degree.
This indictment comes as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). Launched in March 2011, the VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally. In the year preceding the initiative, there were just 14 defendants charged with federal gun crimes by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the nearly two years since, more than 200 defendants have been charged.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bradley Shepard and Nicholas Surmacz, who prosecuted the case for the government, Jones now faces up to ten years in prison and significant fines on each federal gun charge. He was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service today, where he will remain until a scheduled sentencing hearing on February 20, 2014, in Indianapolis. Jones is also scheduled to go to trial in January on federal health care fraud charges.
An Indictment is only a charge and is 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.