INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis resident has been sentenced to more than six years in federal prison after he recently pleaded guilty to possessing a gun even though he was a previously convicted felon.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Indiana, 45-year-old Thomas Burkett was sentenced to 77 months in prison after Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department investigators saw Burkett with a firearm at a gas station in August 2021. Burkett will also serve three years probation after his federal prison sentence.

After an initial investigation at the time, investigators learned that Burkett had previously been convicted of a number of felonies, including strangulation, kidnapping, escape, theft, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and drug possession. According to the release, Burkett was detained before he left the gas station and a black 9mm handgun was recovered from his vehicle.

“Multiple convictions for violent crimes were not enough to convince this offender to stop carrying a deadly weapon,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana Zachary A. Myers said in the release. “The serious federal prison sentence imposed here should send a message to citizens returning to the community from custody: if you choose to possess a gun you will go right back to prison. Our office will continue to partner with the ATF and IMPD to ensure that the most dangerous armed offenders are taken off our streets.”