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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Indiana
Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Monday, February 27, 2023

Convicted Domestic Abuser Sentenced to Over 3 Years in Federal Prison for Illegally Possessing a Firearm After Fleeing Police at 120 Miles-per-Hour

INDIANAPOLIS- Max Gellersen, 27, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to Possession of a Firearm by a Person Convicted of a Misdemeanor Crime of Domestic Violence.

According to court documents, on August 6, 2020, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers responded to a domestic disturbance. By the time the officers had arrived, Gellersen had left the home. The victim stated that Gellersen pointed a gun at her, struck and choked her.

Later that day, officers attempted to stop Gellersen for a probation violation while he was driving. Gellersen failed to comply and led police on 120 mile per hour vehicle chase that ultimately ended when his vehicle caught on fire. While under arrest, Gellersen directed police to where they would find the firearm in his home.

IMPD officers searched Gellersen’s home and found a Colt Series 4 handgun in the exact location that Gellersen described. Gellersen is prohibited from possessing a firearm under federal law due to his 2018 misdemeanor conviction for Domestic Battery in Boone County.

Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Randal Taylor, Chief of Police for IMPD, and Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Columbus Field Division made the announcement.

“Many illegally armed perpetrators of gun violence in the home and in mass shootings have a prior history of committing domestic violence,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office, in partnership with ATF and IMPD, will continue to prioritize federal prosecution of the armed criminals who pose the greatest danger to those closest to them and to the public. The sentence imposed today demonstrates that domestic abusers who choose to illegally possess guns risk significant time in federal prison with no possibility of parole.”

ATF investigated this case with valuable assistance provided by IMPD. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge James P. Hanlon. Judge Hanlon also ordered that Gellersen by supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 3 years following his release from federal prison.

U.S Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Abhi Kambli and Jayson W. McGrath, 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.

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