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 Hatton

December 6, 2013

DESK: (219) 937-5603

www.usdoj.gov/usao/inn/

CELL: (219) 314-9993

 

mary.hatton@usdoj.gov

WEEK IN REVIEW – HAMMOND

 

            Hammond, Indiana - The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in Federal Court:

 

INDICTMENT:

 

  Ø   An Indictment returned on November 21, 2013 charged five individuals with identity theft:

 

Alexis Young, 31, of Hammond, Indiana was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft, three counts of aggravated identity theft, one count of HIPPA violation and six counts of unlawful use and disclosure of Social Security Numbers;

 

Angela Young, 41, of Chicago Heights, Illinois was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft and three counts of aggravated identity theft;

 

Cynthia Mullins, 45, of Gary, Indiana was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft;

 

Montrease Young, 30, of Chicago, Illinois was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft; and

 

Chavon Jackson, 27, of Hammond, Indiana was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit identity theft.

 

These charges were filed as the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Service-Office of the Inspector General.  This case has been assigned to and will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Toi Houston.

 

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.

 

 

PLEAS:

 

  Ø   Claude Hunter, 57, of Schererville, Indiana, pled guilty before Chief Judge Philip Simon to the felony offense of sale of a firearm to a known felon.  Sentencing has been set for 3/6/14.  This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Kolar.

 

  Ø   Kenneth Sandidge, 54, of Gary, Indiana, pled guilty before Senior District Judge Rudy Lozano to the felony offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Lake County Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

 

  Ø   Terrance Winton, 49, of Merrillville, Indiana, pled guilty before District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to the felony offense of possession with the intent to distribute crack cocaine.  This charge was filed as a 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.

 

  Ø   George Van Til, 66, of Merrillville, Indiana, pled guilty before Senior District Judge James Moody to six counts of the felony offense of wire fraud.  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 Attorneys Philip Benson and Joshua Kolar.

 

  Ø   Ronald Holmes, 47, of Griffith, Indiana, pled guilty before Chief Judge Philip Simon to the felony offense of violating a requirement of a pretreatment program approved by the EPA in that he caused the discharge of pollutants into the Hammond Sanitary District’s publicly-owned treatment works when he had not been issued a permit to do so.  NH Environmental Group, Inc. also plead guilty to a misdemeanor information filed at the same time charging that they introduced and caused to be introduced, hauled and trucked pollutants into a publicly owned treatment works.  Sentencing has been set for 3/14/14.  This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Environmental Protection Agency.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Toi Houston.

 

  Ø   Tonja Muldrow, 34, of Michigan City, Indiana, pled guilty before Chief Judge Philip Simon to the felony offense of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.  This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Michigan City Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Dean Lanter.

 

  Ø   Kevin Wilkerson, 39, formerly of Gary and Crown Point, Indiana, pled guilty before District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to the felony offense of bank robbery.  This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Gary Police Department.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Diane Berkowitz.

 

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.

 

DISPOSITIONS:

 

  Ø   Daniel Rivas, 34, of East Chicago, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 46 months imprisonment and 4 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession with the intent to distribute marijuana.  According to documents filed in this case, Rivas took delivery of a shipment of drugs originating in Brownsville, Texas destined for Griffith, Indiana.  The shipment contained 8 boxes, each containing approximately 35-50 pounds of marijuana.  This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation GRIT Task Force.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

 

  Ø   Roman Perez, 42, of Crown Point, Indiana, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to  24 months of probation, 50 hours of community service and restitution of $26,417 after pleading guilty to the felony offense of making false statements on a tax return and making false statements in a bankruptcy proceeding.  According to documents filed in this case, Perez understated his total taxable income by approximately $110,000 of which approximately $80,000 constituted payments from both the Lake County Treasurer and the Lake County Sheriff’s Commissary Fund to Roman Art Inc., a graphic design business owned by Perez.  Perez also understated his gross income for the year 2009 by an amount in excess of $40,000 in a bankruptcy proceeding.  This case was the result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Philip Benson.

 

  Ø   Lakita Lee, 36, of Gary, Indiana, was sentenced by District Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen to 16 months of probation (10 months of this probationary period to be served on home detention), restitution of $32,608 to the Social Security Administration and a $1,000 fine after pleading guilty to the felony offense of theft of government property.  According to documents filed in this case, Lee was a Social Security representative payee for Marva Davis.  Lee did not report to Social Security that Davis had died and continued to complete paperwork, signed under oath, stating that she was using the disability benefit funds for the benefit of Davis, instead Lee was using the funds for her own benefit.  This case was the result of an investigation by the Social Security Administration-Office of the Inspector General.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Gary Bell.

 

  Ø   Jose Lechuga-Carrasco, 39, of Cicero, Illinois, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to 37 months of imprisonment and 2 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession with the intent to distribute and distributing cocaine.  According to documents filed in this case, law enforcement found approximately 500 grams of cocaine concealed in Lechuga-Carrasco’s car after a traffic stop in Hammond, Indiana.  This case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Hammond Police Department.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Kolar.

 

  Ø   David Hernandez-Cervantes, 53, of Chicago, Illinois, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 70 months imprisonment and 2 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.  According to documents filed in this case, Hernandez-Cervantes attempted to sell kilogram quantities of 99.5% pure methamphetamine. He was working with others in a large-scale distribution of an extremely dangerous drug. This case was the result of an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joshua Kolar.

 

  Ø   Roberto Ramirez Cardona, 55, of Hammond, Indiana, was sentenced by Senior District Judge James Moody to 70 months imprisonment and 2 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession with the intent to distribute heroin.  According to documents filed in this case, US Postal inspectors identified a package as possibly containing narcotics based on size, weight, shape and mailing origin.  After confirming this suspicion, the package was wired with a device that would allow law enforcement to track its location and opening.  When the package was delivered and the transmitter indicated the package had been opened, Federal Agents executed a search warrant at Cardona’s residence, finding, in addition to the heroin, marijuana, $10,000.00 dollars in US currency, multiple cell phones and wire receipts. This case was the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Service-Office of the Inspector General.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nicholas Padilla.

 

  Ø   Matthew Jasek, 31, of Demotte, Indiana, was sentenced by Chief Judge Philip Simon to 51 months imprisonment and 5 years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of possession of child pornography.  According to documents filed in this case, Jasek admitted that he possessed the equivalent of over 600 child pornography images and that he distributed some of the material through a file sharing program. He further admitted that he had been interested in child pornography for eight years, had received and possessed child pornography through several peer to peer file sharing programs, and had searched for child pornography as often as twice a week. This case resulted from an investigation by members of the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, including the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.  This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas McGrath.