For Immediate Release
Seven Indianapolis Defendants Indicted in Federal Court on Gun and Drug Charges
Project Guardian success in the Southern District of Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that Walter Mays, 29, Lapre Apple, 22, Mickey Shipp, 35, David Bateman, 38,Christopher Allen, 27, Rodney Freeman, 36, all of Indianapolis, and Devonte Davis, 25, of Carlisle, Ind. were indicted by a grand jury on charges of illegal possession of firearms and/or drug-trafficking related charges.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office will utilize all tools, available through the Project Guardian initiative, in its fight to reduce violent crime, and enforce federal gun laws,” said Minkler. “If you choose to illegally possess firearms to commit violent crimes, you will be prosecuted federally, and you will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Walter Mays was indicted on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, and marijuana. Mays was previously arrested by way of complaint following a November 25, 2019 traffic stop initiated for speeding. Upon approach of the vehicle, officers smelled marijuana emanating from the vehicle. Investigators asked Mays to step out of the vehicle and detained him. During a pat down of Mays, officers found narcotics and $3,058 on Mays’s person. Mays has previous felony convictions for resisting arrest, possession of a narcotic drug, dealing salvia, two for dealing marijuana, and three for dealing hash oil.
Lapre Apple was indicted on charges of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of a firearm within 1000 feet of a school zone, and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a drug-trafficking crime. Apple was previously arrested by way of complaint following a December 3, 2019 traffic stop initiated for changing lanes without using a turn signal and speeding in a school zone. Upon approach of the vehicle, officers smelled marijuana emanating from the car. A passenger and Apple were removed from the vehicle. Officers removed a firearm from Apple’s waistband. Officers recovered a small quantity of marijuana, cocaine and $6,955. Apple has a prior arrest for possession of 200-600 ecstasy pills and possession of a high capacity magazine and Category II weapons out of Illinois.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Abhishek Kambli, who is prosecuting Mays and Apple for the government, defendants each face up to 20 years in prison, if convicted.
Mickey Shipp was indicted on two counts for unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Shipp was previously convicted in Marion County, Ind. for felony charges of theft.
Devonte Davis was indicted on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Davis was previously convicted in Marion County, Ind. for felony charges of criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement, aggravated battery and battery resulting in serious bodily injury. Davis was also previously charged by way of complaint following an October 1, 2019 traffic stop. Federal agents traveling in the same area as Davis had witnessed suspicious activity and requested assistance from IMPD. The license plate number of the vehicle Davis was traveling in was provided to IMPD and it was determined that the registered owner of the vehicle did not have a valid driver’s license. The passengers were uncooperative with the officer during the traffic stop and provided false names. The officer asked the occupants to exit the vehicle. When Davis exited the vehicle, he pulled a handgun from his waistband and tossed it on the floorboard. Davis told officers that he knew he wasn’t supposed to possess firearms due to his previous felony conviction. Davis was previously convicted in Marion County, Ind. for criminal recklessness, resisting law enforcement, possession of cocaine, aggravated battery, and battery resulting in serious bodily injury.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence D. Hilton, who is prosecuting Shipp and Davis for the government, defendants each face up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.
David Bateman was indicted on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Bateman was previously convicted in Marion County, Ind. for felony charges of strangulation and battery with moderate bodily injury.
Christopher Allen was indicted on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Allen was previously convicted in Marion County, Ind. for felony charges of unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon and maintaining a common nuisance-controlled substances.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Jeremy A. Morris, who is prosecuting Bateman and Allen, defendants each face up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.
Rodney Freeman was indicted on two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Freeman was previously convicted in Marion County, Ind. in three separate causes for felony charges of possession of a narcotic drug. Freeman also has three previous operating a vehicle while intoxicated felonies.
According to Assistant United States Attorney William L. McCoskey, who is prosecuting Freeman for the government, defendant faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.
These cases are part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted these cases with support from the following Project Guardian partners: CGIC, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
For more information about Project Guardian, please see https://www.justice.gov/ag/project-guardian-memo-2019/download.
These arrests were made possible by the joint efforts of the Crime Gun Intelligence Center (CGIC), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD).
“The Indianapolis Crime Gun Intelligence Center proves that by combining our resources and information we can make a greater impact in our community,” said Jonathan McPherson, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “ATF will continue to work with IMPD to make Indianapolis safer for all of us.”
“The Indianapolis Crime Gun Intelligence Center was established to focus the efforts of partner law enforcement agencies on the small number of individuals perpetrating violence in our neighborhoods,” said IMPD Chief Bryan Roach. “Leveraging technology, we are better able to connect incidents of violence with perpetrators, the firearms they use, and the sources of their crime guns. And we will continue to focus on identifying these violent individuals, removing them from our community, and working with our federal law enforcement partners to hold them accountable.”
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.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to targeting the District’s most violent geographic areas for the adoption of reactive federal drug and firearm prosecutions. This office will also continue to prosecute organizations and individuals distributing methamphetamine, cocaine, marijuana, and other controlled substances. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Sections 2.2 and 3.3.