INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man was sentenced to more than two years in federal prison after an arrest that stemmed from a welfare check in 2020.

In September 2020, Broden Burgess was in the parking lot of a Kroger experiencing an apparent mental health crisis. Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department arrived to find him incoherent.

A court document filed in the case says Burgess told responding officers that he was being chased from parking lot to parking lot but “they” are scattering now. IMPD officers noted that the only other people in the parking lot of the Kroger were a cleaning crew.

One of the officers, recognizing Burgess was in a possible mental crisis, asked him if they could perform a pat-down search of his outer clothing. The document says Burgess agreed and the officer patted Burgess’ hooded sweatshirt, finding a loaded Ruger 9mm handgun in his pocket and a hoster on his hipline.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana said Burgess is prohibited from lawfully possessing firearms or ammunition due to multiple prior felony convictions. These convictions include auto theft, burglary, and strangulation. He also has a misdemeanor conviction for domestic battery after he knocked an ex-girlfriend to the ground and choked her. 

On Tuesday, the office announced that Burgess was sentenced to 54 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to illegally possessing a firearm as a convicted felon. As part of the sentence, he will be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release.

This case was part of the LEATH Initiative and Project Safe Neighborhoods.