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Press Release

Two Men Charged in Federal Court with Violent Carjackings in Chicago Suburbs

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A federal grand jury has indicted two men on carjacking charges in connection with the violent thefts of vehicles in the north suburbs of Chicago.

EDSON RESENDEZ and MAVERICK CELA forcibly took vehicles in Morton Grove, Ill., and Skokie, Ill., according to an indictment unsealed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Chicago.  The indictment charges Resendez, 21, and Cela, 21, both of Chicago, with one count of conspiracy to commit carjackings and two counts of carjacking.  Resendez also faces an additional count of using, carrying, and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.

Resendez was arrested Thursday morning and pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in federal court.  A detention hearing is set for Aug. 23, 2022, at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert.

Cela is currently in the custody of the state of Illinois.  His arraignment in federal court has not yet been scheduled. 

The indictment was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; and Emmerson Buie, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  Valuable assistance was provided by the Chicago Police Department, Morton Grove Police Department, and Skokie Police Department.  The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cornelius A. Vandenberg.

According to the indictment, Resendez and Cela took a Chevrolet Sonic from a victim in Morton Grove on Sept. 11, 2020.  Cela later disposed of the vehicle by lighting it on fire in the 6200 block of North Lincoln Avenue in Chicago, the indictment states.

On Sept. 13, 2020, Resendez and Cela took a Lexus GS350 from a victim in Skokie, the indictment states.  The pair later disposed of the vehicle in the 4800 block of South Hermitage Avenue in Chicago, the charges allege.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendants are presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Each carjacking count is punishable by up to 15 years in federal prison.  The firearm count against Resendez carries a minimum prison sentence of seven years and a maximum of life, which must be served consecutively to the sentence imposed for the carjacking offense.  The conspiracy charge is punishable by up to five years.  If convicted, the Court must impose reasonable sentences under federal statutes and the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines.

Updated August 19, 2022

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