The four men account for 12 prior felony convictions and represent the worst-of-the-worst
INDIANAPOLIS – Josh J. Minkler, the Acting United States Attorney, announced today the federal indictments of four Marion County men for violent crimes committed in Indianapolis this summer. The defendants include:
Joe Jones, 33, Indianapolis, felon in possession of a firearm
Jacques Boyd, 24, Indianapolis, felon in possession of a firearm
Shane Schmutte, 30, Indianapolis, felon in possession of a firearm
William Ballard, 25, Indianapolis, two counts, robbery involving a controlled substance
“Using the federal hammer to prosecute violent criminals, has been and will remain the top priority of this office,” said Minkler. “Working with our Federal and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department partners, we will continue to use every resource possible to make our communities safer.”
The Jones indictment alleges that on May 2, 2014, he was found to be in possession of a 9mm handgun. Jones is a convicted felon, and therefore is not legally entitled to possess a firearm. His extensive criminal history includes felony convictions in Marion County for multiple robberies, battery, and possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. According to state court documents, Jones was stopped by an IMPD officer for a traffic violation. Jones fled the scene of that stop in the vehicle he was driving, striking other vehicles in the process. An officer observed Jones throw the handgun from his vehicle and once the pursuit ended, recovered the weapon.
The Boyd indictment alleges that on July 3, 2014, he was found to be in possession of a .40 caliber handgun. Boyd’s criminal history includes convictions in Marion County for felony burglary, auto theft, battery, and resisting law enforcement. According to state court documents, Boyd was driving in the area of 30th Street and Emerson Way when he pointed a firearm at occupants of a second vehicle. Once IMPD officers made contact with Boyd, they determined that he had the handgun in his waistband.
The Schmutte indictment alleges that on August 5, 2014, he was found to be in possession of a .40 caliber handgun. Schmutte’s criminal history includes felony convictions in Marion County for multiple robberies and burglary. According to state court documents, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers were dispatched to the 6300 area of the Monon Trail. As officers approached a group of individuals believed to be involved in the disturbance, Schmutte was observed walking away from the group. An IMPD officer observed Schmutte remove a pistol from his waistband and throw it in the nearby canal. The Indianapolis Fire Department Dive Team recovered the weapon from the canal.
The Ballard indictment alleges he entered two Indianapolis CVS Pharmacies in May of this year and robbed them of Percocet tablets. In both robberies, he approached the pharmacy counter and presented the employee there with a note demanding the narcotic. In one robbery, he verbally threatened that he had a gun and placed his hand in his pocket as if to imply he had a weapon.
FBI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) W. Jay Abbott recognized the dedicated FBI Special Agents, IMPD Officers and Assistant United States Attorney's for their concentrated efforts in identifying and arresting individuals that commit or threaten force, violence, or fear while engaging in heinous illegal activities. “Our law enforcement partnerships are essential in combating violent street crime and ensuring our neighborhoods remain safe,” said Abbott. .
“I would like to thank the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for their diligent work on these cases,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge Michael Boxler. “It is a positive collaboration when ATF works with our law enforcement partners to remove violent criminals from our community.”
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Rick Hite said, “I am very pleased with the relationship we enjoy with U.S. Attorney’s Office in pursuing criminals who illegally possess firearms. We will continue to aggressively arrest and prosecute anyone who disrupts the safety of our communities.”
The United States Attorney’s Office just last week, hosted the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee meeting in Indianapolis. The goal of the meeting was to have United States Attorneys from around the country make recommendations on best practices to help reduce violence and help make our communities safer. One recommendation was to focus on the most violent offenders and use federal prosecutorial tools keep them off our streets. “We took those recommendations seriously and have demonstrated our resolve to help reduce violent crime,” said Minkler.
According to Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Lupke, who is prosecuting three of the cases for the government, Schmutte and Jones face from fifteen years to life in federal prison if convicted. Boyd faces 10 years if convicted. According to Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey D. Preston who is representing the government in the Ballard case, he faces up to 20 years if convicted.
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.