U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett Announces Federal Charges in an Armed Marion County Carjacking
INDIANAPOLIS—Joseph H. Hogsett, the United States Attorney, announced today federal charges against a man who allegedly carjacked an Indianapolis man and discharged a firearm into the dashboard of his vehicle. Jaime Martinez-Elvir, 32, was charged with carjacking and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.
“The revolving door of justice was closed for Mr. Martinez today,” said Hogsett. “Those individuals who choose to view federal firearms laws as mere ‘suggestions’ will spend a long time in prison contemplating their actions.”
Court documents recently unsealed allege that during the early morning hours of March 31, 2013, Martinez invaded a home in the 800 block of North Sherman Drive, robbed a husband and wife at gun point of jewelry and cash, and then forced the husband and wife to drive him to a bar on the east side of Indianapolis. During the incident, Martinez fired the gun, although neither of the victims was hit.
Later that same day, documents allege Martinez committed a second carjacking near Washington and Belmont. During that incident, it is alleged that Martinez forced the victim at gun point to drive an ATM to withdraw money from the victim’s ATM account. When no money was available from the ATM, it is alleged that Martinez fired a shot into the dashboard of the victim’s car.
Based on that incident, a federal grand jury returned an indictment yesterday charging Martinez with carjacking and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence.
“Carjacking is a serious crime that puts the public in danger and the FBI is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to protect the public,” stated Robert A. Jones, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
This prosecution comes as part of the U.S. Attorney’s Violent Crime Initiative (VCI), and is the result of a collaborative investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Homeland Security Investigations, and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
Announced in March 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 three years since, more than 325 defendants have been charged.
“Through our Violent Crime Initiative, and in working with our law enforcement partners here in Central Indiana, we’re sending a united message that violent criminals will not be tolerated and will face the full force of federal law,” Hogsett added.
According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Rinka, who is prosecuting the case for the government, Martinez faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the carjacking and a sentence of 10 years to life if convicted of the gun charge. He remains in the custody of the United States Marshals Service.
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.