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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
Thursday, February 22, 2024

Michigan City Man Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Jonnathan Tyler Lee, 25, of Michigan City, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty after pleading guilty to making a false statement to a licensed firearms dealer during the purchase of a firearm, announced United States Attorney Clifford D. Johnson.

Lee was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release. According to documents in the case, from June 2020 to July 2021, Lee purchased at least 19 guns from gun stores throughout the Northern District of Indiana. When making the firearm purchases, Lee provided false information on the ATF form 4473. Several firearms recovered from crime scenes in Chicago were found to have been purchased by Lee. Some of the firearms Lee purchased were also recovered from felons, and at least one was used to shoot at a moving car.   

This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. 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.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana is pursuing this prosecution as a part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Chicago Gun Trafficking Strike Force. On July 22, 2021, the Department of Justice launched five cross-jurisdictional strike forces to help reduce gun violence by disrupting illegal firearms trafficking in key regions across the country. These gun trafficking strike forces are designed to ensure coordination across jurisdictions and help stem the supply of illegally trafficked firearms from source cities, through other communities, and into five key market regions: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area/Sacramento Region and Washington, D.C.


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