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Press Release

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Louisville Man for Gun Charge

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Kentucky

Louisville, KY – A federal grand jury in Louisville, Kentucky, returned an indictment today charging a local man with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky, Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the ATF Louisville Field Division, and Chief Jacquelyn Gwinn-Villaroel of the Louisville Metro Police Department made the announcement.

According to the indictment, on February 8, 2022, Joseph Edward Starling, 53, a convicted felon, possessed a Taurus, Model Raging Judge Magnum, 45/410 caliber revolver after having previously been convicted of the following felony offenses. On December 3, 2018, in Jefferson Circuit Court, Starling was convicted of manslaughter II, kidnapping (no death/injury), criminal syndication: engaging in organized crime, and tampering with physical evidence. On September 26, 2006, in Jefferson Circuit Court, Starling was convicted of illegal possession of a controlled substance and tampering with physical evidence. On May 6, 2004, in Jefferson Circuit Court, Starling was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. On August 30, 1989, in Jefferson Circuit Court, Starling was convicted of two counts of burglary II, five counts of theft by unlawful taking over $100, and three counts of burglary III. On August 30, 1989, in a separate Jefferson Circuit Court case, Starling was convicted of burglary III and theft by unlawful taking over $100.  

Starling will make his initial court appearance before a United State Magistrate Judge in the Western District of Kentucky on a later date. If convicted, Starling faces a minimum sentence of 15 years and a maximum sentence of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. There is no parole in the federal system.

This case is being investigated by the ATF and Louisville Metro Police Department.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Dahl is prosecuting 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.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


Updated February 7, 2023