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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Northern District of Indiana
Clifford D. Johnson, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Merrillville Man Sentenced to 102 Months in Prison

SOUTH BEND – Phillip Carter, Jr., 32 years old, of Merrillville, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty after pleading guilty to aiding and abetting the making of false statements to acquire firearms, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Carter was sentenced to 102 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release.

According to documents in the case, in April 2021, Carter provided another individual money to purchase two pistols for him from a federally licensed firearms dealer. As a convicted felon, Carter was unable to purchase firearms himself and he knew that the other individual would have to lie in order to purchase the pistols for him. During the investigation, it was determined that Carter had another individual buy up to 24 firearms for him. Carter’s prior felony convictions, which include being a felon in possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm, prohibit him purchasing and possessing the firearms in this case.

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives with the assistance of the LaPorte County Drug Task Force and the Michigan City Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Kimberly L. Schultz and 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.

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