Clay County man faces federal firearms charges

Jerry Charles Smith

A Clay County man has been indicted on firearms charges related to his possession of firearms and homemade silencers after becoming a convicted felon.

Jerry Charles Smith, 29, is to appear Aug. 23 in the federal district court in Terre Haute to face six criminal counts and forfeiture of rifles, shotguns, silencers and ammunition.

Penalties if convicted are up to 10 years in prison on each of the six criminal charges.

Court documents state Smith was convicted in Clay County of theft in 2012 and 2015, as well as criminal recklessness in 2014 and receiving stolen property in 2011.

The Clay County Sheriff's Department had also investigated a firearms complaint against Smith in 2015 and found Smith in possession of a rifle and homemade silencer at that time.

In 2018, Smith was arrested in Terre Haute in connection with a domestic battery incident. Police found firearms and multiple homemade silencers during the investigation.

A witness told police Smith built the silencers at home because “it was a game to him.” The devices would degrade after only a few rounds, the witness said.

Federal officials examined the rifles and homemade devices prior to the criminal charges being filed Aug. 2 in the Southern District of Indiana.


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