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Violent Felon Found Guilty for Possessing a Machinegun and Perpetrating Nearly $1 Million Bank Fraud Scheme

— May 15, 2024

The total value of the checks and money orders recovered from the Chevrolet Impala was approximately $886,117.90.

INDIANAPOLIS – A federal jury has found Derrick Barbour, 27, of Indianapolis, guilty of unlawful possession of a machinegun, being a felon-in-possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a USPS Arrow Key, possession of stolen mail, and bank fraud, following a four-day trial.

According to court documents and evidence introduced at trial, early in the morning on February 10, 2023, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officers stopped Barbour, who was driving a stolen vehicle. Barbour, the only occupant in the vehicle, refused to exit, despite over 100 commands from law enforcement to do so. Eventually, IMPD SWAT officers physically removed Barbour from the vehicle and placed him under arrest. Searching Barbour’s person, they found a baggie of cocaine in one of his socks and part of a handgun in his other sock.

Later, law enforcement officers searched the vehicle Barbour was driving. Inside, they found two loaded handguns, a 10 mm Glock model 20 handgun that had previously been reported stolen, and a Glock 17 9mm handgun equipped with a “Glock switch”—a small metallic device that converts a semi-automatic handgun into a fully automatic machinegun, where one press of the trigger fires multiple rounds. The handgun on which the “Glock switch” was installed had a magazine capable of holding 50 rounds.

Installing a “Glock switch” requires the removal of a part of the handgun. The trial evidence showed that the handgun piece found in Barbour’s sock when he was arrested was the part of the Glock 17 handgun that had been removed to install the “Glock switch.”

The jury found that Barbour’s possession of the “Glock switch” was illegal. Additionally, the jury found that Barbour’s possession of the two handguns was also unlawful, as Barbour had previously been convicted of multiple felonies, including attempted armed robbery, possession of cocaine, and residential entry.

In addition to firearms, law enforcement officers also found a significant amount of stolen mail in the vehicle Barbour was driving. Inside the envelopes were checks and money orders made out to other people and businesses. Also, hanging from Barbour’s keyring were two “arrow keys,” which are used to access U.S. Postal Service collection boxes. Indeed, these specific keys were reported missing in late 2022 from the Bacon Station Post Office in Indianapolis. It is unlawful for any unauthorized person to possess an arrow key. The jury found Barbour guilty of possessing both stolen mail and the arrow keys.

Neon “Checks cashed” sign; image by Tony Webster from Oakland, California, CC BY 2.0, no changes.
Neon “Checks cashed” sign; image by Tony Webster from Oakland, California, CC BY 2.0, no changes.

Finally, the jury convicted Barbour of bank fraud for washing the stolen checks and cashing them for himself. The jury saw that, in the trunk of Barbour’s vehicle, investigators recovered a laptop computer, a typewriter, and a duffel bag containing additional checks, as well as blank check stock. Many of the checks had been altered to include Barbour’s name. Additionally, the jury saw evidence that the ribbon of the typewriter found in the vehicle and used to alter the checks included Barbour’s name.

The total value of the checks and money orders recovered from the Chevrolet Impala was approximately $886,117.90.

The United States Postal Inspection Service – Office of Inspector General and IMPD investigated this case. U.S District Court Judge James P. Hanlon presided over the trial and will impose sentence at a later date. Barbour faces up to 70 years in federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Kelsey L. Massa and Meredith Wood, who prosecuted this case.

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