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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
www.justice.gov/usao-sdin
Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Violent Felon Sentenced to 46 Months in Federal Prison After Being Found Armed With a Machinegun and Unconscious in a Running Vehicle on I-465

INDIANAPOLIS- Michael Parham, 31, of Indianapolis, Indiana has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

According to court documents, on August 26, 2021, at approximately 9:36 a.m., Carmel Police Department (CPD) officers were alerted to a man slumped over the steering wheel of his vehicle at the I-465 Westbound exit to US-31 South.

When CPD officers arrived, they saw two men passed out in the driver and front passenger seats of a white Buick Regal. The driver was identified as Michael Parham. The Buick was running and in drive, with Parham’s foot on the brake. The windows of the Buick were all rolled down and the doors were locked. An officer reached into the Buick and put the vehicle in park. The officer then began shaking and yelling at Parham to wake him from his unconscious state.

Parham did not verbally respond to any questions about his medical status or whether he was under the influence of any narcotics. Officers removed the keys from the Buick and placed Parham under arrest. During the search of the vehicle, officers located a loaded 9-millimeter Glock semi-automatic pistol on the front driver floorboard in plain view. The Glock pistol was loaded and equipped with a machinegun conversion device.

Machinegun conversion devices, sometimes called “Glock switches” or “auto-sears,” are devices that convert ordinary semiautomatic firearms into fully automatic machineguns. Machinegun conversion devices are themselves considered machineguns under federal law, even when not installed, and are illegal to possess or sell without a special license.

Parham is prohibited from possessing any firearm due to his previous federal felony conviction for robbery. At the time of this arrest, Parham was still on supervised release after being released from federal prison for the robbery.

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

“Violent criminals who continue to illegally arm themselves pose a tremendous danger to our communities—especially when their handguns are illegally converted into machineguns” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “This defendant demonstrated that he learned little from his prior sentence. He will now return to federal prison, ensuring that the public will again be protected from any of his further crimes while he is incarcerated. Our office will continue to work with our partners at ATF and the Carmel Police Department to disarm dangerous offenders and get them off our streets.”

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Carmel Police Department investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson. Judge Stinson also ordered that Parham 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 Peter A. Blackett, 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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