Tuesday, January 19States Top Leading News (STL.News)

Tag: HAMMOND

Gary: Varnell Dixon Sentenced for Possessing Firearm
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Gary: Varnell Dixon Sentenced for Possessing Firearm

Gary Man, Varnell Dixon Sentenced to 60 Months Imprisonment for Possessing Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking Crime HAMMOND (STL.News) Varnell Dixon, 24, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge James T. Moody to 60 months imprisonment following his guilty plea to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Bell. According to documents in the case, on December 28, 2019, Dixon was driving a rented vehicle speeding eastbound on Interstate 80/94.  At the time, he possessed a fully loaded Glock nine millimeter firearm, four bags of marijuana, some of which he intended to distribute, and $323.00 in small bills.  Upon being pursued by the Indiana State Police, Dixon attempted to elude the police at a high rate of speed and ultimatel...
Thomas L. Kirsch II Announces Departure from Office
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Thomas L. Kirsch II Announces Departure from Office

United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II Announces Departure from Office Confirmed by U.S. Senate to Serve as Federal Judge HAMMOND, IA (STL.News) United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II announced today that he has resigned from the Department of Justice, effective December 18, 2020, at which time he assumed the duties of a United States Circuit Judge for the Seventh Circuit. Mr. Kirsch was appointed to the position of United States Attorney by President Trump on October 6, 2017. “I commend Tom Kirsch for his many years of service as United States Attorney and as a member of my Advisory Committee of United States Attorneys.  Tom has faithfully led his office in Northern Indiana with integrity and an unrelenting commitment to the rule of law.  Under Tom’s leadership, his Office...
Jr: Latin Dragon Nation Member Ralph Mendez, Jr. Sentenced
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Jr: Latin Dragon Nation Member Ralph Mendez, Jr. Sentenced

Jr: Latin Dragon Nation Member Ralph Mendez, Jr. Sentenced to 510 Months In Prison Following Conviction for Racketeering Conspiracy Including Two Homicides (STL.News) – Ralph Mendez, Jr., 24, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon to 510 months in prison following his guilty plea to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity as a member of the Latin Dragons Nation street gang, including admitting responsibility for two homicides, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. According to documents in the case, Mendez, Jr., admitted to being a member of the Latin Dragon Nation street gang since approximately 2014.  As a member of the gang, Mendez, Jr., participated in shootings of suspected gang members and associates, in addition to drug and firearms tr...
Hammond: Latin King Gang Member Jeremiah Farmer Sentenced to Life in Prison
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Hammond: Latin King Gang Member Jeremiah Farmer Sentenced to Life in Prison

Hammond: Latin King Gang Member Jeremiah Farmer Sentenced to Life in Prison for Racketeering Conspiracy including Two Murders and Drug Conspiracy (STL.News) – Jeremiah Farmer, 39, of Hammond, Indiana, and a member of various Indiana factions of the Chicago-based Latin Kings, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon to life in prison following his conviction at trial in July 2019 of conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute cocaine, marijuana, and alprazolam, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. At trial, the jury found that, as part of the racketeering conspiracy, on June 25, 1999, Farmer murdered Marion Lowry, 74, and Harvey Siegers, 67, by beating each to death with a hammer at their Hammond busi...
Hammond: U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II Appoints Jacky Jacobs As A District Election Officer
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Hammond: U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II Appoints Jacky Jacobs As A District Election Officer

Hammond: U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II Appoints Jacky Jacobs As A District Election Officer for the Northern District Of Indiana (STL.News) – United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II announced today that Supervisory Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Jacky Jacobs will lead the efforts of his Office in connection with the Justice Department’s nationwide Election Day Program for the upcoming November 3, 2020, general election.  Supervisory AUSA Jacobs has been appointed to serve as the District Election Officer (DEO) for the Northern District of Indiana, and in that capacity is responsible for overseeing the District’s handling of complaints of election fraud and voting rights concerns in consultation with Justice Department Headquarters in Washington. United States Attorney Thom...
Hammond: Murray Ford Charged
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Hammond: Murray Ford Charged

(STL.News) – Murray Ford, age 57, of Hammond, Indiana was charged in a criminal Complaint with credit union robbery, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. According to documents in this case, on October 13, 2020, it is alleged that Ford entered Teacher’s Credit Union in Hammond, Indiana, wearing sunglasses and a mask.  It is alleged that he displayed a firearm and demanded money, and employees handed over in excess of $14,000.  Ford left on foot to a strip mall parking lot where his vehicle was parked.  On October 14, 2020, agents subsequently executed a search warrant on Ford’s apartment and located approximately $14,000 in cash, some of which was stolen credit union funds, along with sunglasses consistent in appearance with the robber’s, and a silver revolver. The United States Attorney’s Of...
Hammond: DOJ Charges More Than 14,200 Defendants With Firearms-Related Crimes
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Hammond: DOJ Charges More Than 14,200 Defendants With Firearms-Related Crimes

Hammond: DOJ Charges More Than 14,200 Defendants With Firearms-Related Crimes In Fiscal Year 2020 (STL.News) – Today, the Department of Justice announced it has charged more than 14,200 defendants with firearms-related crimes during Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, despite the challenges of COVID 19 and its impact on the criminal justice process.  These cases have been a Department priority since November 2019 when Attorney General William P. Barr announced his commitment to investigating, prosecuting, and combatting gun crimes as a critical part of the Department’s anti-violent crime strategy.   These firearms-related charges are the result of the critical law enforcement partnership between United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, led by Acting ...
DOJ Charges 500 Plus Domestic Violence Firearm Related Cases In FY 20
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DOJ Charges 500 Plus Domestic Violence Firearm Related Cases In FY 20

(STL.News) – Today, the Department of Justice announced it has charged more than 500 domestic violence cases involving firearms during Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.  A Department priority since 2019 when Attorney General William P. Barr created the Department of Justice’s first ever-Domestic Violence Working Group, these charges are the result of the critical law enforcement partnership between United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, led by Acting Director Regina Lombardo, who has made domestic violence firearms-related investigations a priority. “Keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous criminal offenders is one of the Department of Justice’s top priorities,” said Attorney General Barr.  “This is especially important when it comes to i...
Hammond; Latin Dragon Nation Associate Angelina Vilella Sentenced to 60 Months In Prison
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Hammond; Latin Dragon Nation Associate Angelina Vilella Sentenced to 60 Months In Prison

(STL.News) – Angelina Vilella, 21, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced to 60 months of imprisonment following her guilty plea to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity as an associate of the Latin Dragons Nation street gang, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. According to documents in the case, the Latin Dragons Nation is a criminal street gang that originated in Chicago and spread to other areas, including the Northern District of Indiana.  Members and associates of the Latin Dragons Nation allegedly engage in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, witness tampering, and assault, to protect the gang’s territory.  The Latin Dragon Nation members have been charged with crimes involving in excess of 50 victims, including 15 murder victims. As part of her involvement...
Hammond; Da’Ione Fields Charged With Mail Fraud & Attempted Bank Fraud
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Hammond; Da’Ione Fields Charged With Mail Fraud & Attempted Bank Fraud

(STL.News) – Da’Ione Fields, 23 of Gary, Indiana, was charged by way of an Indictment with two counts of mail fraud and one count of attempted bank fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. “Seniors are some of our more vulnerable citizens.  Those in senior care facilities are dependent upon the care they receive there for their well-being,” said United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.  “The alleged theft from a facility like this can have a severe negative impact on the residents in the facilities’ care.  Theft results in diminished resources that should be available for the residents’ care and well-being.  My Office is committed to protecting vulnerable seniors and working with our investigative agencies to investigate and prosecute those who steal from their employers.” According to ...
Hammond; US Attorney Kirsch Reminds Parents About Online Predators
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Hammond; US Attorney Kirsch Reminds Parents About Online Predators

Hammond; US Attorney Kirsch Reminds Parents About Online Predators With Recent Indictments | USAO-NDIN (STL.News) – United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II announces three separate Indictments involving three defendants who were charged with a variety of crimes against children. “My Office will continue to work with our investigative partners to investigate and prosecute those who commit crimes against children,” said United States Attorney Kirsch.  “Victims of these horrific crimes lose their innocence through no fault of their own, and we take these matters very seriously.” Today’s indictments include: Tyrone Johnson, age 32, of Merrillville, Indiana was charged with production of child pornography and possession of child pornography.  It is alleged that after the victim disclosed ...
Hammond; Lafayette Caldwell Sentenced To 120 Months In Prison | USAO-NDIN
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Hammond; Lafayette Caldwell Sentenced To 120 Months In Prison | USAO-NDIN

(STL.News) – Lafayette Caldwell, 32, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Philip P. Simon to 120 months of imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release following his guilty plea to conspiracy to distribute 280 grams of crack cocaine, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. “Selling dangerous drugs, such as crack cocaine, will not be tolerated in the Northern District of Indiana,” said United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.  “I want to commend the outstanding job done of the FBI, in coordination with state and local law enforcement agencies, to remove this group from the streets of Gary.” According to documents in the case, for some time between July of 2015 and November of 2016, Caldwell participated in a conspiracy to distribute crack cocaine in the Glen Park neighborhood of Gary, In...
Gary Man Varnell Dixon Pleads Guilty to Possessing Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking Crime
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Gary Man Varnell Dixon Pleads Guilty to Possessing Firearm in Furtherance of Drug Trafficking Crime

(STL.News) – Varnell Dixon, 24, of Gary, Indiana, pled guilty to possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. In the plea agreement, the parties agreed that the Court should impose the statutory mandatory minimum five year term of imprisonment. In the plea agreement, Dixon admitted that on December 28, 2019, he was driving a rented vehicle speeding eastbound on Interstate 80/94.  At the time, he possessed a fully loaded Glock nine millimeter firearm, four bags of marijuana, some of which he intended to distribute, and $323.00 in small bills.  Upon being pursued by the Indiana State Police, Dixon attempted to elude the police at a high rate of speed and ultimately exited onto the Cline Avenue ramp.  Dixon lost control of the vehicle, cau...
Latin King Gang Member Mark Toney Sentenced To 87 Months In Prison
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Latin King Gang Member Mark Toney Sentenced To 87 Months In Prison

(STL.News) – Mark Toney, 41, of Schererville, Indiana, and a member of the Chicago-based Latin Kings street gang, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Philip P. Simon to 87 months in prison and 2 years of supervised release following his guilty plea to conspiracy to participate in racketeering activity, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. According to documents in the case, Toney was a member of the Latin Kings street gang for most of his adult life, including being a local leader of Hammond Latin Kings for a period of time.  He possessed firearms, ordered other members to shoot at rivals, and sold cocaine and marijuana as a member of the gang.  Factors affecting Toney’s sentence were his leadership role and his involvement in the distribution of between 3.5 and 5 kilograms of cocaine b...
Chicago Man Jesus Lopez Sentenced to 20 Years In Prison
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Chicago Man Jesus Lopez Sentenced to 20 Years In Prison

(STL.News) – Jesus Lopez, 42 years old, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge James T. Moody after pleading guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. Lopez received a sentence of 240 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release. “Mr. Lopez will serve 20 years in prison for his guilty plea to possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine,” said U.S. Attorney Kirsch.  “Smuggling drugs into our Country is an intolerable offense.  We will continue to arrest and prosecute those caught in the Northern District of Indiana.  I commend the interdiction efforts of the Hobart Police Department for the apprehension of Mr. Lopez.” According to documents in this cas...
Former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich Re-Sentenced To 151 Months In Prison
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Former Lake County Sheriff John Buncich Re-Sentenced To 151 Months In Prison

(STL.News) – The United States Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, Thomas L. Kirsch II, announced that John Buncich, age 74, of Crown Point, Indiana was re-sentenced before District Court Senior Judge James T. Moody.  This re-sentencing flowed from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals June 5, 2019 decision upholding Buncich’s conviction on two wire fraud counts (Counts 4-5) and one bribery count (Count 6). Buncich was re-sentenced to 151 months imprisonment, 1 year of supervised release, $800 in restitution and a $35,000 fine.  Buncich agreed to forfeiture in the amount of $38,000.00 as part of this federal prosecution U.S. Attorney Kirsch said, “Buncich betrayed the public trust when he took bribes for personal gain.  The sentence imposed today should send a strong message of...
Gary Man Kristopher Meacham Sentenced To 120 Months In Prison
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Gary Man Kristopher Meacham Sentenced To 120 Months In Prison

(STL.News) – Kristopher Meacham, 29, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Theresa L. Springmann following his plea of guilty to transporting a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity, announced U.S. Attorney Kirsch. Meacham was sentenced to 120 months in prison followed by 15 years of supervised release.  He was also ordered to pay $10,000 in restitution to the victim of his offense. According to documents in the case, Mr. Meacham met a 14 year-old girl from Chicago in January 2018 in Gary, Indiana.  The two communicated over social media, and during the communications Meacham told the girl he was 19 years old and arranged to meet her.  In March of 2018, he drove to Chicago, picked up the 14 year-old and drove her to his home in Gary where...
Cedar Lake Woman Jessica Guska Indicted For Wire Fraud
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Cedar Lake Woman Jessica Guska Indicted For Wire Fraud

(STL.News) – Jessica Guska (a/k/a Jessica Irvine, Jessica Brewer, Jessica Carrington and Jessica Hoggard), 42, Cedar Lake, Indiana was charged by way of a 4 count indictment for wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II. Guska was the president of Cedar Lake-based Riptide Travel Softball, a competitive softball club for girls.  Ms. Guska was responsible for managing Riptide Travel Softball’s finances.  It is alleged that from August 2018 until approximately October 2019 Ms. Guska embezzled money meant for Riptide Travel Softball and used it to pay her personal expenses, including health care costs, air travel, vacations and her home property taxes. The United States Attorney’s Office emphasizes that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons are presumed inn...