INDIANAPOLIS-(ENEWSPF)- Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced today that Shane M. Spears, age 27, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 120 months in prison today by U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt following his guilty plea to being a felon in possession of a firearm.
“Today’s sentencing by Judge Tanya Walton Pratt brings to a close another team effort as part of our ongoing Violent Crime Initiative,” Hogsett said. “Thanks to the hard work of our local and federal law enforcement partners, we’ve taken another illegally armed felon off the streets of Indianapolis.”
“And to those who continue to illegally arm themselves, our message is simple,” Hogsett added. “You’re next.”
Spears was arrested on March 27, 2011 after being charged with a robbery of a pharmacy in Indianapolis. A search warrant executed at his residence uncovered evidence of the robbery as well as a shotgun. Spears has four prior felony convictions for drug offenses and robbery, as well as other misdemeanor offenses.
In sentencing Spears to the maximum sentence of 10 years, Judge Pratt considered Spears’ lengthy criminal history as well as the fact that Spears had attempted to get three other witnesses to take responsibility for the firearm and robbery in order to avoid prosecution.
This case was the result of a several month collaborative investigation by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Safe Streets Task Force as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI). Announced in March of 2011, the VCI represents a district-wide strategy to work with local law enforcement and county prosecutors to combat drug traffickers and criminals that use and carry firearms in their illegal activities.
In the first nine months of the initiative, the VCI produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally—from just 14 felony possession charges in 2010 to 103 last year.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Gayle L. Helart, who prosecuted the case for the government, Judge Walton Pratt also imposed three years’ supervised release following Spears’s release from prison. During the period of supervised release, Spears must undergo drug testing and he is subject to search and seizure. Spears was fined in the amount of $1,000.