---- — Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, has announced the conviction of a Rushville-area resident on charges related to the illegal purchase of firearms.
James I. Bowling, 41, of Manilla, was found guilty by a jury of his peers after a two day trial in Indianapolis.
The jury found that Bowling provided false information in purchasing a firearm and illegally received a gun while under indictment.
“Through our Violent Crime Initiative, we’re cracking down on those who acquire and use firearms in disregard of both the law and common sense,” Hogsett said. “This isn’t about making new laws, this is about enforcing those laws already on the books. By targeting habitual offenders who continue to illegally arm themselves, we’re making communities like Rushville safer, and we’re protecting the interests of all law-abiding gun owners in Rush County.”
An indictment filed last November charged that on July 19, 2012, Bowling was found to have falsely applied to purchase a .357 caliber revolver at a Rushville sporting goods store.
In making that purchase, Bowling filed sworn statements with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, indicating that he was not under felony indictment. In fact, the defendant was aware of felony charges pending against him in Rush County Superior Court, Hogsett said.
Bowling was also convicted of illegally possessing the weapon in question.
These indictments come as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) and are the result of collaborative investigative efforts by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the Indiana State Police.
Launched in March 2011, the VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally. In the year preceding the initiative, there were just 14 defendants charged with federal gun crimes by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the nearly two years since, more than 200 defendants have been charged.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Rinka, who prosecuted the case for the government, Bowling is expected to be sentenced at a hearing in Indianapolis in the next 60 days.
The defendant faces up to 10 years in federal prison, as well as a possible fine of up to $250,000.
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