Federal officials take up gun case


Robert A. Reed, 50, Indianapolis

HANCOCK COUNTY — An Indianapolis man who was facing a felony gun charge in the county had his local case dropped due to the fact federal officials picked it up.

Officials with the Hancock County Prosecutor’s Office say federal officials expressed an interest in handling the charges against Robert A. Reed, 50, 600 block of North Capitol Avenue, causing local officials to officially drop their charges in Hancock County Superior Court 1 on March 14.

The local charges against Reed included a Level 4 felony count of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by Serious Violent Felon; a Class A Misdemeanor count of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated Endangering a Person and a Class C Misdemeanor count of Operating a Vehicle While Intoxicated from an incident in mid-February.

According to federal documents, Reed is now facing a federal charge of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. The case is now being handled in the United States District Court Southern District of Indiana where charges were officially filed March 12. Reed is now facing up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. He was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals pending further proceedings before the court.

The probable cause affidavit states around 1:38 a.m. Feb. 16, officials from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department observed a white Kia Optima stopped in the travel lane of CR 200 N. As soon as the deputy pulled directly behind the Kia, the car began to drive away making an immediate U-turn and heading off in the opposite direction.

The report stated the deputy followed the Kia for a short time and observed the vehicle turn into Randall Residence at Gateway Park, which is a dead-end. The Kia eventually stopped in the middle of the intersection in front of the deputy’s patrol car and the sole occupant of the Kia, later identified as Reed, got out of his car, forcing the deputy to get out of his patrol car.

The affidavit states, Reed told the deputy he was lost and was looking for directions, but the deputy could smell alcohol coming from Reed’s breath. The deputy asked Reed to submit to both a breath and a chemical test, but Reed objected. Officials placed Reed in a patrol car as they worked to get a warrant for the blood draw while also doing a search on the vehicle.

The report noted, Reed overheard on the radio an official had found a loaded semi-automatic handgun in his vehicle and became agitated and said, “that’s not my gun, that’s my wife’s gun that she keeps in there.”

A history check on Reed revealed he was on supervised release following a conviction for Conspiracy to Possess with Intent to Distribute Heroin, a crime handled in the United States District Court Southern District of Indiana. Officials noted there was an arrest warrant issued on Reed for violating conditions of his release.

The affidavit states officials had interviewed his fiancee at her house in Oct. 2023 and had a conversation with her about firearms inside the home since Reed was going to be staying there while on supervised release. The woman stated she understood the firearm restrictions and confirmed she only had one firearm and had already given the firearm to another family member.

When officials talked to the woman again following the lastest incident, she told them she did not have a gun and had no idea where the gun had come from, the report stated.

Officials noted in the report a background check on Reed shows multiple crimes including kidnapping, drugs and theft charges.