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County man federally indicted on firearm possession charge

U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett announced Thursday the federal indictment of a Sullivan County man.

Mark Dudley, 50, was charged by a grand jury with illegally possessing firearms as a convicted felon.  He faces prosecution as an “armed career criminal,” which could lead to 15 years to life in prison, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release.

Dudley’s federal charge stems from an incident in November where he was caught allegedly breaking into a rural Sullivan County home by some of the victims. He was charged locally with six felonies, including burglary, residential entry and receiving stolen property, as well as for possessing a firearm as a serious violent felon.

It’s also reflection of Dudley’s extensive criminal history, which includes 13 felony convictions in Sullivan and Vigo counties.

Dudley is in the Sullivan County jail on $62,000 bond.

A complete report will be printed in Tuesday’s Times.

Below is the news release from the DOJ:


 U.S. Attorney says prosecution of illegally-armed felon is part of Violent Crime Initiative

  SULLIVAN – Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today the federal indictment of Mark Dudley, a resident of  Sullivan County. Dudley has been charged by a grand jury with illegally possessing firearms as a convicted felon, and he now faces up to a decade in prison.

  “Two years ago, this Office pledged to federally prosecute more illegally-armed felons than ever before,” Hogsett said. “Our success in that effort has been due to cases similar to what has been alleged here – collaborative investigations targeting career criminals who view our local jails as their personal revolving door.”

  The indictment alleges on November 16, 2012, law enforcement found Dudley to be in possession of a Jimenez 9mm handgun and a Glock .40 caliber pistol. Dudley is a convicted felon, and therefore is not legally entitled to possess a firearm. His extensive criminal history includes thirteen prior felony convictions, including convictions for theft, illegally possession of a gun, forgery, and burglary in Sullivan County and Vigo County.

  This prosecution comes as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative, and is the result of a collaborative investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as Sullivan County law enforcement.

  Announced in March of 2011, the Violent Crime Initiative represents a district-wide strategy to work with local law enforcement and county prosecutors to combat drug traffickers and criminals that use and carry firearms in their illegal activities. The VCI has produced a dramatic increase in the number of gun-related charges brought federally. In the year preceding the initiative, there were just 14 defendants charged with federal gun crimes by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In the nearly two years since, more than 200 defendants have been charged.

  “Through our Violent Crime Initiative, and in working with our law enforcement partners here in western Indiana, we’re sending a united message that illegally-armed felons will face the full force of federal law,” Hogsett added.

  According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthias D. Onderak, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Dudley faces prosecution as an “armed career criminal,” which would see him face a potential prison sentence of 15 years to life. An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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