(STL.News) – United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced today that Marvin Graves, 22, and Dominique Jones, 31, both of Indianapolis, were recently charged in separate complaints for federal firearm offenses.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to reducing gun violence through its Project Guardian initiative,” said Minkler. “If you are illegally in possession of a firearm, you will be prosecuted fully under federal law.
Marvin Graves was charged with possession of a firearm and/or ammunition by a prohibited person. On December 23, 2019, Graves was spotted by an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officer. The officer knew that Graves was currently wanted for a parole violation for armed robbery in Marion County, Ind. The officer saw Graves go into a convenience store, return several minutes later, and drive away. Assisting officers in the area attempted a traffic stop. However, before officers could stop the car, Graves exited the moving car from the passenger side and fled on foot. While running, officers witnessed Graves holding his waistband. After continuing to run and ignoring officer commands to stop, Graves was apprehended. Graves did not have a firearm in his possession at the time he was taken into police custody. A witness later alerted to police that he had seen Graves discard a black object. The officers went to the exact location described by the witness and located a firearm. Graves has previous felony convictions in Marion County, Ind. for escape, pointing a firearm, and armed robbery.
Dominique Jones was charged with possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. On January 3, 2020, IMPD SWAT executed a search warrant at a residence where Jones was located. Officers made announcements for the occupants to exit the house. Jones and a juvenile male exited the residence and were detained. Upon inquiring as to whether there were any firearms in the residence, for safety purposes, Jones admitted that he left his 9mm in the residence. During an interview with the officers, Jones advised there would be marijuana in his vehicle, which Jones stated was for his own “personal use.” Officers searched the car and found marijuana and plastic baggies. Jones admitted to being a marijuana user and to selling marijuana and Percocet. He stated he carries the 9mm firearm for protection.
These cases are part of Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiative to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities. The United States Attorney’s Office has prosecuted this case with support from the following Project Guardian partners: The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
For more information about Project Guardian, please see: https://www.justice.gov/projectguardian.
“Working with our federal law enforcement partners to remove crime guns from our neighborhoods, as well as the individuals who seek to use them to perpetrate violence, remains a priority,” said IMPD Chief Randal Taylor. “In 2019 alone, the Marion County Crime Lab processed more than 3,500 guns brought in by IMPD officers and detectives as they worked to make our community a safer place.”
According to Assistant United States Attorney Lawrence D. Hilton, who is prosecuting the Graves case for the government, Graves faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.
According to Assistant United States Attorney Lindsay E. Karwoski, who is prosecuting the Jones case for the government, Jones faces up to 10 years in prison, if convicted.
A complaint 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.
In October 2017, United States Attorney Josh J. Minkler announced a Strategic Plan designed to shape and strengthen the District’s response to its most significant public safety challenges. This prosecution demonstrates the office’s firm commitment to targeting the District’s most violent geographic areas for the adoption of reactive federal drug and firearm prosecutions. See United States Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana Strategic Plan Section 2.2.