Man Assaulted IMPD Officer, Threatened Innocent Bystanders, Apprehended After SWAT Stand-Off
INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today that Jamel H. Brown, age 35, of Indianapolis, has been sentenced to 400 months (33 years, 4 months) in prison by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker. Brown had been charged with multiple counts in connection with two local bank robberies and a violent altercation with Indianapolis police.
“Our office is targeting violent offenders with long records and short memories,” said Hogsett. “For nearly 20 years, Jamel Brown viewed the Marion County jails as his personal revolving door. That stopped this morning in federal court.”
On August 8, 2011, Jamel Brown was speeding, under the influence of crack cocaine, and was illegally in possession of a Tec-9 semi-automatic handgun. At the time, Brown was on parole for three separate robberies, and there was an active warrant for his arrest.
That night, officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department initiated a traffic stop of Brown’s car. During the course of the offenses that followed, Brown engaged in a high speed chase, assaulted the pursuing officer, attempted to kill several civilians, broke into a hotel full of families, and held a hotel guest against his will until the SWAT team arrested Brown hours later.
In sentencing Brown, Judge Barker identified Brown as an armed career criminal (ACC), a designation that carries with it a mandatory minimum of 15 years in federal prison. The ACC designation is a federal-specific prosecutorial tool, and Hogsett said the sentencing enhancement was a key component of the office’s efforts to assist local law enforcement combat violent crime.
This prosecution comes as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI) and are the result of collaborative investigative efforts by the Federal Bureau of Investigation-Safe Streets Task Force, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department, and the Lawrence Police Department.
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. More than half of the prosecutions under the VCI have been of Marion County defendants, who collectively represent more than 400 prior felonies in the Indianapolis area.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorneys James M. Warden and Zachary A. Myers, who prosecuted the case for the government, Brown was also sentenced to five years of supervised release to be served at the end of his prison term. Federal sentencing rules require that, at a minimum, Brown will serve 85 percent of his sentence in prison.