For Immediate Release
Posey County Man Sentenced for Illegal Possession of Numerous Firearms
INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Jackie J. Whittley, Jr., age 32, of Cynthiana, was sentenced to 180 months in prison today by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young after being convicted of illegally possessing a sawed-off shotgun, along with numerous other firearms. In sentencing the defendant, Judge Young determined Whittley to be an armed career criminal. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, along with the Vanderburgh County and Posey County Sheriffs.
"The facts of this case show that the defendant thought he was above the law, and that recklessness put this community in danger," Hogsett said. "This case is an example of what our collaborative Violent Crime Initiative aims to accomplish in Hoosier communities. This effort isn’t about making new laws -- we are focused on enforcing those laws already on the books."
Whittley plead guilty to the charges on November 18, 2013. At the time of the guilty plea, Whittley admitted that he possessed 14 firearms and a sawed off shotgun at his home in Cynthiana. Officers had gone to Whittley’s home after clerks at a nearby gas station alerted them that Whittley had a gun in his possession and was making threatening statements. Whittley was apprehended after leading officers on a high speed motorcycle chase. Due to a criminal record that included three prior violent burglary convictions, Whittley received an enhanced penalty as an armed career criminal.
These indictments come as part of the U.S. Attorney=s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), and are the result of collaborative investigative efforts by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Indiana State Police.
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. Attorney, Lauren M. Wheatley, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Young also imposed 3 years of supervised release. During the period of supervised release, Whittley must not possess firearm or destructive devices, nor consume alcohol or controlled substances.