INDIANAPOLIS – Joseph H. Hogsett, United States Attorney, announced today that Anthony R. Elliott, 43, of Evansville, has been charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm as part of the U.S. Attorney's Violent Crime Initiative.
"I know I sound like a broken record, but this Office simply has no tolerance for convicted felons who illegally arm themselves," Hogsett said. "We are doing all we can to help reduce violent crime, and we are committed to keeping guns out of the hands of violent, repeat offenders in Evansville."
The indictment alleges that Anthony Elliott was in possession of a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol, after having been convicted of at least four felonies. According to the charging document, Elliott has previously been convicted of two violent felonies in the Evansville area, including battery and burglary.
This indictment comes as part of the U.S. Attorney's Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), and is the result of collaborative investigative efforts by the ATF, and local law enforcement.
Launched in March 2011, the VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally – from just 14 charges in 2010 to more than 110 last year. Already in 2012, 61 felon in possession of a firearm charges have been filed as part of the Violent Crime Initiative, putting the office on pace to meet or exceed last year's total.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Lauren M. Wheatley, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Elliott faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. An initial hearing will be scheduled in Evansville, Indiana before a U.S. Magistrate Judge information.
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.