23 Guns Taken Off Evansville's Streets

Published 04/09 2014 05:41PM

Updated 04/09 2014 06:02PM

On a day in Evansville when two juveniles are taken into custody for shooting a gun on Bedford Avenue, the city, county, state, and federal law enforcement gather at the US Courthouse to share that many more guns were taken off the streets Wednesday morning. "This is a critical moment in the history of this city and frankly a very powerful message that we are attempting to send throughout Southwestern Indiana," said US Attorney Joseph Hogsett. The message is: felons with firearms will be prosecuted.

Evansville has it's fair share of gun violence and Wednesday 23 firearms ranging from sawed off shotguns to pistols were taken out of the hands of criminals. Of the eight who were charged with federal firearm violations, they combined for 29 felony convictions. "Their criminal history convictions range from child molest, armed robbery, battery, burglary, criminal recklessness. They are serious criminals," said US Attorney Lauren Wheatley.

Some of the men charged today could be considered "armed career criminals." Which is a sentencing enhancement which carries a minimum sentence of 15 years if convicted. Many police departments, sheriff's office's, state police, and federal police collarborated in today's arrests. "That combination of law enforcement agencies and prosecution, this effort today, the arrests that were made today, is proof that we can be successful," said Arron Graves of the ATF.

The government alleges that on man arrested today Deric West straw purchased four handguns, one rifle, and a shotgun. If convicted he faces up to 10 years in prison.

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