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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of Indiana
For Immediate Release
Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney
Monday, April 24, 2023

Indianapolis Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for “Straw Purchases” of Nineteen Firearms and Illegal Gun Trafficking Using Instagram

Indianapolis- DeAngelo Carnell, 24, of Indianapolis, Indiana was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison after pleading guilty to six counts of making false statements in connection with the acquisition of a firearm and one count of dealing in firearms without a federal license.

According to court documents, over the course of 40 days, from April 2021 through May 2021, DeAngelo Carnell purchased a total of nineteen firearms from different gun retailers in the Indianapolis area over the course of six transactions as part of a “straw purchase” scheme. A straw purchase scheme is when a person not prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm falsely states to a federally licensed gun dealer that they are purchasing a firearm for themselves, when they know that the gun is actually intended for someone else, frequently someone who is prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.

In each of these transactions, Carnell purported that he was buying the firearms for himself. On During a June 28, 2021, interview with a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, Carnell admitted that he purchased all but one gun for other individuals and that most of the transactions were facilitated using Instagram. On one occasion Carnell met subjects from Chicago and Gary, Indiana, at a gun store to illegally by guns for them. Carnell admitted that he charged a $50 fee for each illegal purchase, and that it was common for him to purchase handguns for young people who were unable to legally buy a gun because they were under the age of twenty-one. Carnell admitted that buying and selling firearms was his sole source of income from April 2020 through June 2021.

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

“Illegal gun traffickers flood our streets with firearms and drive the violence plaguing too many of our neighborhoods, and saving lives requires us to stop the flow of crime guns at their source,” said U.S. Attorney Myers. “This defendant repeatedly lied to obtain firearms and profited by putting them into the hands of people prohibited from legally purchasing them. Now he will pay for his crimes in federal prison. This prosecution demonstrates that our office will work tirelessly with the ATF to identify illegal gun traffickers and hold them accountable.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Chief Tanya Walton Pratt. Judge Pratt also ordered that Carnell 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 Jayson McGrath, 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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