United States Attorney David Capp
Northern District of Indiana
M01-204 S. Main Street
South Bend, Indiana 46601
Hammond South Bend Fort
Hammond South Bend Fort Wayne
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Mary L. Hatton
December 6, 2012 PHONE: (219) 937-5500
www.usdoj.gov/usao/inn/ Fax: (219) 852-2770
WEEK IN REVIEW – SOUTH BEND
South Bend, Indiana - The United States Attorney’s Office announced that:
Ø Alvin Lipsey, 53, of Mishawaka, Indiana, pled guilty before Magistrate Judge Christopher Nuechterlein to the felony offenses of bank robbery and use of a firearm during a crime of violence. Magistrate Nuechterlein is recommending that the district court accept the tendered guilty plea. Parties have 10 days in which to object to the magistrate judge’s recommendation. Sentencing has been set for 3/11/12. These charges were filed as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Schaffer.
If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Ø Octavio Betancourt-Mendoza, 38, of Elkhart, Indiana, was sentenced by District Judge Robert Miller, Jr. to 151 months imprisonment in each of two matters, to run concurrently, after pleading guilty to the felony offenses of conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana in the case US v Beltran et al., and money laundering in the second case. According to the sentencing memorandum filed in this case, Betancourt-Mendoza ran drugs in Elkhart in an interstate drug trafficking conspiracy, allowed his family residence to be used for the business, helped launder the drug proceeds through an auto salvage and sales business, and laundered some of the drug money through the purchase of a motor vehicle. The quantities of drugs, including kilograms of cocaine and hundreds of pounds of marijuana, were significant amounts. Several money seizures of over $100,000 demonstrated just how big the operation in Indiana and elsewhere was in terms of generating large amounts of cash. This case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William Grimmer.
Ø Christopher Hibshman, 22, of Elkhart, Indiana, was sentenced by District Judge Robert Miller, Jr. to 27 months imprisonment and 3 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. According to his plea agreement, deputies with the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department, having a local warrant for his arrest, went to Elkhart where Christopher Hibshman was believed to be staying. Hibshman was found at the residence and was arrested. After obtaining consent to search the residence, deputies found a 12 gauge shotgun and .22 rounds in a closet where Hibshman had been hiding. In that same bedroom, a case was found containing baggies with meth residue, two scales, two coffee filters, and a smaller tin containing syringes and meth residue. Hibshman admitted to federal agents that he was a drug user (methamphetamine, marijuana and xanax pills). He also admitted that his prints would be on the shotgun that was located because he had handled the shotgun. Hibshman has a prior felony conviction for possession of methamphetamine. This case was the result of an investigation by the by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Elkhart Sheriff’s Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.
Ø Cortey Edwards, 22, of Lima, Ohio, a defendant in the case US v Diallo et al., was sentenced by District Judge Robert Miller, Jr. to 5 months imprisonment, 2 years of supervised release, to include 5 months of home detention, and restitution of $977.65 after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of 15 or more counterfeit access devices and unauthorized access devices with the intent to defraud. According to his plea agreement, Edwards was stopped for a speeding violation after which police discovered a total of 45 Visa gift cards on his person as well as 1 American Express card. These cards had been altered by use of different numbers on the magnetic strips for the purpose of trying to purchase items. This case was the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service, the Wabash County Prosecutor’s Office and the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney William Grimmer.