Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
South Bend Man Sentenced to 48 Months in Prison
SOUTH BEND – George L. Howell, 55 years old, of South Bend, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting the making of false statements in the straw purchase of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.
Howell was sentenced to 48 months in prison followed by 1 year of supervised release.
According to documents in the case, in January 2020, Howell had another person buy a firearm for him at a pawn shop in South Bend, Indiana. The buyer lied on a form saying that they were the actual buyer, but both Howell and the buyer knew that the gun was really for Howell. Howell could not legally buy the gun because he was a convicted felon and thus prohibited from making the purchase. Howell’s prior felony convictions include battery resulting in serious bodily injury, burglary, and residential entry. The firearm was ultimately recovered from a truck Howell was driving.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of the South Bend Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jerome W. McKeever.
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.