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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
Thursday, December 22, 2022

Evansville Drug Dealer Sentenced to Over 9 Years in Federal Prison for Firearms Trafficking Offense

EVANSVILLE- Ronald Chapman, 46, of Evansville, Indiana was sentenced to 110 months in federal prison for illegally possessing a firearm.

According to court documents, in October 2018, law enforcement officers received information that Ronald Chapman was in possession of multiple firearms and was planning to sell one or more firearms to an individual. On October 4, 2018, law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at Chapman’s residence and recovered nine total firearms: an AK-style rifle along with three other long guns and five handguns.

During a recorded interview with investigators, Chapman admitted to keeping firearms inside of his residence, stating several times that he owned the home and had been attempting to sell the firearms. Chapman also advised that there would be marijuana and methamphetamine in the home and a rifle behind his bedroom door. Chapman acknowledged that he spent approximately 16 years in prison in Illinois for making methamphetamine, which prohibits him from ever legally owning a firearm.

At the time of his arrest, Chapman had previously been convicted of four felonies in Illinois relating to the manufacture and possession of methamphetamine.

“Far too many firearms are illegally trafficked into our communities, driving the gun violence that devastates far too many families,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “Armed, repeat offenders like this defendant play a significant role in driving violent crime in our neighborhoods and must be stopped. We will work with our federal, state, and local partners to investigate and prosecute criminals who illegally deal in deadly weapons.”

“This is a scenario we see all too often – not only is the defendant prohibited from possessing firearms due to his own prior conduct, but he is also selling guns to others who in all likelihood aren’t legally able to possess them either,” stated Daryl S. McCormick, Special Agent in Charge of ATF’s Columbus Field Division. “ATF will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to block the flow of illegally possessed firearms that feed the cycle of violence.”

ATF investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young. Judge Young also ordered that Chapman be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 3 years following his release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Lauren Wheatley who prosecuted this case.

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.

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