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United States Attorney David Capp

Northern District of Indiana

5400 Federal Plaza, Suite 1500

Hammond, Indiana 46320



Hammond                                                 South Bend                                               Fort Wayne

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         CONTACT: Mary L. Hatton

March 18, 2011                                                                                   PHONE: (219) 937-5500

www.usdoj.gov/usao/inn/                                                                    Fax: (219) 852-2770 



WEEK IN REVIEW - HAMMOND

 

 

Hammond, Indiana—The United States Attorney's Office announced the following:

 

Paris Albert, 24, of Gary, Indiana, was charged in an indictment with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. Albert has prior felony conviction for. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Kolar.

 

Adolpho Sotelo, 25, of Indianapolis, Indiana, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to 24 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to count one of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to distribute cocaine. This case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration HIDTA Task Force. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang-Adiga.

 

Christopher Spears, 44, of East Chicago, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior Judge Rudy Lozano to a total of 34 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after being found guilty at trial to counts one through five of a superseding indictment charging him with fraud during an attempted firearms purchase, aggravated identity theft, producing false identification documents, possessing an implement designed to make a forged security, and altering a social security card. Spears was also sentenced to 10 months imprisonment, to run concurrently, after pleading guilty to theft of government money (disaster relief funds) charged in a second indictment. These cases were the result of an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security-Office of the Inspector General, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, GRIT, and the Indiana State Police. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Ratcliffe.

 

Marva Bernard, 71, of Gary, Indiana, pled guilty before Magistrate Judge Christopher Neuchterlein to count one of an indictment charging her with health care billing fraud. At Your Service Transport Provider located in Gary, Indiana, was an enrolled Medicaid provider. In 2009 and continuing in 2010, Bernard participated in and helped to execute a health care fraud billing scheme. As part of the fraud scheme, the defendant received from a co-conspirator lists of Indiana Medicaid patients and their identifying information. The defendant did so without proper authorization and to facilitate fraudulent billings to Medicaid. Bernard caused fraudulent billing claims for services to be sent to Indiana Medicaid and its contracted representative for payment. In particular, the defendant caused billings and claims for reimbursement to be sent to Indiana Medicaid for transportation services that were never in fact provided. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Indiana Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.

 

Paris Straughter, 20, of Griffith, Indiana, pled guilty before Chief Judge Philip Simon to counts one and two of a of an indictment without benefit of a plea agreement charging him with bank fraud and aiding and abetting. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall Stewart.

 

Alvin Hannon, 40, of Harvey, Illinois, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to 5 months imprisonment, 5 months of home detention, and 2 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to count one of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to steal money from a program receiving federal funds in the case US v Murff et al. Hannon was also ordered to pay $76,000 in restitution to Geminus Corporation. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Collins.

 

Vincent Green, 27, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to 6 months imprisonment, 6 months of home detention and 1 year of supervised release after pleading guilty to count one of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to steal money from a program receiving federal funds US v Murff et al. . Green was ordered to pay $135,000 in restitution. This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Susan Collins.

 

James Gaskill, 29, of Attica, Indiana, pled guilty before Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to count one of an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Gaskill has a prior felony conviction for possession of a controlled substance. Sentencing has been set for 5/25/11. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Nozick.

 

Sammy Earl Jones, 27, of Gary, Indiana, pled guilty before Senior Judge Rudy Lozano to count one of an indictment charging him with stealing from the United States a Raven RX Recorder worth approximately $9000.00. Sentencing has been set for 4/15/11. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation GRIT Task Force. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Chang-Adiga.

 

Armon Ballard, 28, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to 51 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to count one of an indictment charging him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Ballard has prior felony convictions for delivery of a controlled substance, and possession of THC. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives HIDTA Task Force, and the Gary Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

 

Richard Kasper, 33, of Kouts, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior Judge Rudy Lozano to 260 months imprisonment and 10 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to count one of an indictment charging him with conspiracy to manufacture and distribute five hundred (500) grams or more of methamphetamine, and conspiracy to manufacture and distribute fifty (50) grams or more of methamphetamine. This case was part of an extensive cooperative investigation directed by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Porter County Sheriff’s Office, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the Valparaiso Police Department, the Kouts Police Department, and the Porter County Prosecutor’s Office. Other agencies that assisted include the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Indiana State Police, the Internal Revenue Service, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, the Hebron Police Department and the Lake County HIDTA. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Nozick.

 

Reginald Sanders, 44, of Gary, Indiana, pled guilty before Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to count one of an indictment charging him with making false statements in the purchase of firearms. Sentencing has been set for 6/3/11. These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Ratcliffe.

 

Courtney Washington, 26, of East Chicago, was sentenced by Judge Moody to 70 months imprisonment followed by 2 years of supervised release following his conviction for being a felon in possession of a semi-automatic firearm containing an extended magazine loaded with 28 rounds of ammunition. On July 16, 2010, the East Chicago Police Department performed a traffic stop on a vehicle, after which Washington fled on foot and was later arrested after throwing a .40 caliber, semi-automatic pistol loaded with an extended magazine containing 28 rounds of ammunition into a different vehicle belonging to him. A search of that vehicle recovered the firearm, crack cocaine, and marijuana. The firearm Washington possessed was later determined to have been a stolen firearm. Washington has three prior felony convictions, including a criminal recklessness conviction during an incident in which Washington fired a handgun at another person, and two felony possession of a controlled substance convictions. Washington also has a prior resisting law enforcement misdemeanor conviction and a prior reckless driving misdemeanor conviction. This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives HIDTA Task Force, and East Chicago Police Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean Lanter.

 

 

 

The United States Attorney's Office emphasized that an Indictment is merely an allegation and that all persons charged are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

            The specific sentence in each case to be imposed upon conviction will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.