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Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives

Southern District of Indiana

For Immediate Release

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney

Contact: Tim Horty, Public Information Officer
(317) 229-2409

Hogsett Announces Latest Violent Crime Initiative Success in Delaware County

Gun–Related Indictments Help Local Law Enforcement Target the Worst of the Worst in Muncie

MUNCIE — As part of the ongoing U.S. Attorney Violent Crime Initiative, Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced today that convicted felon William Tyrone Davis, 33, of Muncie, has been charged with three gun–related crimes stemming from his alleged illegal possession and misuse of firearms. This indictment follows an investigation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

I have made it a priority of this office to combat violent crime by working with local law enforcement to identify the ’worst of the worst’ for federal prosecution, Hogsett said. The allegations involved in this case, and the criminal history of the defendant, are exactly what this initiative is designed to address.

Between September 9 and September 10, 2011, Davis allegedly entered a Muncie-area sporting goods store with different individuals who repeatedly attempted to purchase a Smith & Wesson M&P 15–22 .22 caliber rifle. Although the first two individuals were denied an immediate purchase through the ATF’s background check system, the third individual was successful in purchasing the rifle and left the store with Davis.

Based on information received by federal agents, an investigation was launched into whether the transaction may have involved a straw purchaser, or someone who purchases a firearm for another individual’s use. Davis’s home was later searched, and a box containing the serial number of the M&P 15–22 rifle was found, along with shotgun ammunition. There is reason to believe that the rifle’s serial numbers have been obliterated.

Davis is charged with the illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; making a false and fictitious written statement to a licensed firearm dealer through the use of a straw purchaser for a firearm; and obliterating the serial number of a firearm. Davis’s criminal history includes a 1998 felony for sexual misconduct with a minor in Delaware County and a separate felony conviction for dealing in altered property.

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney William L. McCoskey, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Davis faces ten years in federal prison for each count if convicted. An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.