U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Southern District of Indiana
Southern District of Indiana
For Immediate Release
June 19, 2013
Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney
Contact: Tim Horty
(317) 229-2409; Cell (317) 716-4250
Hogsett Announces Federal Firearms Charges Against Bartholomew County Resident
U.S. Attorney says prosecution of illegally-armed felon is part of Violent Crime Initiative
INDIANAPOLIS — Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today the federal indictment of Samuel E. Sallee, a resident of Bartholomew County, on charges that he illegally possessed a firearm last month. Sallee’s criminal history includes a number of prior felonies, including a 2005 charge of intimidation in Jennings County, a 1989 charge of driving while intoxicated in Bartholomew County, and additional charges related to the use of controlled substances.
"The purpose of our Violent Crime Initiative has always been to assist our local partners in taking armed and dangerous felons off of Hoosier streets," Hogsett said. "We are working closely with Bartholomew County law enforcement in this matter, and we will do everything within our power to ensure this defendant is held to account for any crimes he has committed."
The indictment alleges on May 14, 2013, federal and local law enforcement officers found Sallee to have possessed a Ruger, Model 10/22 .22 caliber rifle, serial number 157425. Due to his prior felony convictions, Sallee is not legally permitted to possess a firearm. The defendant is currently being held in the Brown County jail on unrelated state charges, but has had a "hold" placed on him as a result of the federal indictment. This hold ensures that if the defendant were to pay his bond on the local charges, he would be immediately taken into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
This prosecution comes as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative, and is the result of a collaborative investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office, the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office, as well as the U.S. Marshals Service.
Announced in March of 2011, the Violent Crime Initiative represents a district-wide strategy to work with local law enforcement and county prosecutors to combat drug
traffickers and criminals that use and carry firearms in their illegal activities. 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. Attorney Matthew P. Brookman, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Sallee faces up to ten years in federal prison if he is convicted. 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.