Greenwood man who claimed to be ‘sovereign national’ sentenced for federal firearms charges

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Christopher Byrne

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– A Greenwood man who pleaded guilty to federal firearms charges was sentenced Monday.

Christopher Byrne received a sentence of 37 months and 2 years of supervised release. He must serve six months of state time consecutively first, then start the federal time.

Byrne was charged in a two-count indictment with unlawful possession of a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition by a convicted felon.

On Aug. 15, 2016, Greenwood police stopped Byrne for a traffic violation near the Greenwood Park Mall. Officers noticed he didn’t have a valid license plate or registration. Instead, the vehicle had a fictitious plate that stated “PRIVATE,” “No driver license or insurance required,” and “Not for commerce-private mode of travel.”

Byrne wouldn’t provide identification when police asked him for it, saying he didn’t commit a crime and didn’t have to ID himself, according to the indictment. Byrne also said he was a “sovereign national.”

Police removed Byrne from the car and handcuffed him. They identified him through the Indiana ID card in his wallet. A records check showed Byrne was a habitual traffic violator who didn’t have a valid license. Police found a loaded .22 caliber rifle with a scope and an extended clip on the rear seat.

In addition, investigators found a hand-made suppressor and bottles of bleach and ammonia. Investigators said he searched for the addresses of a judge, police officer and deputy prosecutor handling a previous case.

Byrne is legally prohibited from carrying a firearm because he’s a convicted felon. He was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in Hendricks County in 2012, and again in Marion County in 2013. In addition, he has a conviction for theft in Marion County from 2015.

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