For Immediate Release
Armed Career Criminal Sentenced to 15 Years in Federal Prison for Illegal Gun Possession
INDIANAPOLIS – Corey Thomas, 33, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to fifteen years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
According to court documents, on November 21, 2020, officers from the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) responded to a domestic disturbance call involving a gun. Officers spoke with a woman who said Thomas was armed with a shotgun, had threatened to kill her, and that Thomas had left the residence in a black Jeep. Officers also discovered that Thomas had an outstanding warrant for armed robbery in Marion County. IMPD officers later located Thomas in possession of a loaded 20-gauge shotgun, sitting in a parking lot of a liquor store. Thomas is prohibited from lawfully possessing firearms or ammunition due to multiple prior felony convictions, including four separate armed robbery convictions. Because of his prior convictions, Thomas is an Armed Career Criminal under federal law and subject to enhanced penalties for illegally possessing a firearm.
“Time and again, we have seen that domestic violence by people with illegal access to firearms is a precursor to murder in the home and mass violence in public,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “The serious sentence imposed here shows that violent, illegally armed criminals will face serious consequences in federal court. Our prosecutors will work closely with the ATF, IMPD, and other law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute these offenders and make our communities and homes safer.”
“The defendant in this case has a history of violent acts, including armed robbery and domestic violence,” stated Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “We know that it is a few individuals who cause a large share of the violence we see. ATF and our partners at IMPD will continue to focus on those who are using guns to cause harm and remove them from our community.”
“This is yet another example of the value our federal partners bring to fighting violent crime in Indianapolis,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “I am grateful for the work our detectives, federal investigators, and federal prosecutors put into this case as well as their continued collaboration.”
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker following Thomas’s guilty plea. As part of the sentence, Judge Barker ordered that Thomas be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for five years following his release from prison
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Adam Eakman 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.
This case is also 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 make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. The Department of Justice reinvigorated PSN in 2017 as part of the Department’s renewed focus on targeting violent criminals, directing all U.S. Attorney’s Offices to work in partnership with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement, and the local community to develop effective, locally based strategies to reduce violent crime.