INDIANAPOLIS – Six Indianapolis residents have been indicted on federal charges after being accused of illegally buying guns that were subsequently used in crimes across Chicago.
According to the Department of Justice, the indictments stemmed from a multi-agency effort that included the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Indianapolis and Chicago Field Divisions.
Federal prosecutors said the individuals were involved in straw purchases, which means they bought a firearm and provided it to someone who is legally prohibited from buying or possessing a gun.
On Sept. 8, a federal grand jury returned indictments against six people from Indianapolis. Counts against them include making false statements during the purchase of a firearm, making false statements regarding information kept by licensed firearms dealers, unlawful possession of a firearm while under felony indictment and the unlicensed dealing of firearms.
Investigators said the six individuals have purchased more than 90 guns since November 2020. More than 20 of those weapons were recovered in the Chicago area as part of crime scenes, murder scenes, mass shooting investigations and a case involving the shooting of a police officer.
Federal prosecutors said 21-year-old Tashia Overton bought a gun from a dealer in Greenwood. However, she provided false information on the paperwork, and the gun was recovered four days later while police investigated a crime in Chicago. According to the ATF, Overton bought 31 guns in the span of 25 days and sold them within days of being purchased.
Six of the guns Overton is accused of buying were recovered in the Chicagoland area; one was used in a mass shooting, investigators said.
In another case linked to the indictments, 23-year-old Eric Keys Jr. of Indianapolis is accused of making a straw purchase of a gun used in the shooting of a 29-year-old man and a 6-year-old child inside a car. While the man survived, the child died, investigators said.
The ATF determined that Keys had bought the gun used in the shooting in Indianapolis in March 2021.
In addition to Overton and Keys, four other people were indicted on Sept. 8 in cases related to straw purchases:
- Jordan Henry, 22, Indianapolis
- Jayte Davis, 22, Indianapolis
- Kwamay Armstrong, 29, Indianapolis
- Charles Hunter, 22, Indianapolis
Eight other people from Indianapolis were indicted earlier this year in other straw purchase cases, prosecutors said. The defendants face up to 10 years in prison with a fine of up to $250,000 and 3 years of supervised release on each count.