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Press Release

Violent Domestic Abuser Sentenced to Over Three Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing Firearms While Fleeing from Police

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

INDIANAPOLIS- Zachariah Brownie, 33, of Indianapolis, has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

According to court documents, in November of 2022, Brownie was on probation for two separate felony convictions, including a domestic violence crime committed on August 21, 2021. Warrants were issued for his arrest after he violated the terms of his supervision.

On the morning of November 21, 2022, officers located Brownie driving a Chevy Trax and activated emergency lights in an attempt to pull him over. Instead of stopping, Brownie fled in the car. Officers pursued Brownie and attempted a pursuit intervention technique (PIT) maneuver. The PIT maneuver caused Brownie’s vehicle to spin around, but Brownie continued to drive away from police. As the pursuit continued, officers observed Brownie throw a handgun out the window of his car. The gun landed in the middle of the street and was later recovered by law enforcement officers.

After a second PIT maneuver, Brownie’s car came to a stop and he was arrested. Investigators searched the car and recovered eight grams of crack cocaine, a working digital scale, a loaded Glock 9 mm magazine, two boxes of 9 mm ammunition, and a box of .223 rifle ammunition. According to a civilian eyewitness, Brownie also threw a second gun out the window during the chase. That firearm was later recovered by investigators near a residential driveway, along the path of Brownie’s flight.

Brownie is prohibited under federal law from possessing a firearm due to his multiple felony convictions, including criminal confinement, residential entry, unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, resisting law enforcement, domestic battery committed in the presence of a child less than 16 years old, and possession of cocaine. Most of Brownie’s prior convictions involve domestic violence.

“Abusers with guns use them to exert power and control over their victims. This defendant’s lengthy and troubling history of extremely violent domestic abuse makes him an extreme danger to his partners, family, and the entire community,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “Domestic disturbance calls can be incredibly dangerous for law enforcement as well as victims, especially when abusers are armed. That is why our office is committed to working alongside FBI and IMPD to hold these high-risk offenders accountable in federal court and ensure they are unable to cause more trauma to our families, friends, and neighbors.”

The FBI and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Matthew P. Brookman. Judge Brookman also ordered that Brownie be supervised by the U.S Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelsey L. Massa, 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.


Updated December 15, 2023

Firearms Offenses