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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, April 16, 2020

Breman, Indiana Man Sentenced

For Conspiracy to Sell and Dispose of One or More Firearms to an Unlawful User of Controlled Substances

SOUTH BEND - Charles Hartsell, age 48, of Bremen, Indiana was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Damon R. Leichty for conspiracy to sell and dispose of one or more firearms to an unlawful user of controlled substances, announced United States Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II.

Hartsell was sentenced to 46 months in prison followed by 2 years of supervised release. 

According to documents in this case, in February of 2019, Mr. Hartsell met a male associate at the Four Winds South Bend casino, which is located on tribal land of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. The two men transferred a .22 rifle and a 9 mm pistol from the associate’s car to Mr. Hartsell’s car. Mr. Hartsell then drove with his associate to a location in South Bend in order to meet a man referred to as “J”, who was known by Mr. Hartsell to be a drug user. Mr. Hartsell tried to sell the two firearms to “J”, but “J” decided not to purchase the two firearms. Mr. Hartsell and his associate then purchased some heroin and methamphetamine from “J” and drove back to the casino. When they arrived back at the casino, Mr. Hartsell and his associate were detained by Pokagon Band tribal police officers. The two firearms were recovered from Mr. Hartsell’s car by police. 

“The United States has an important relationship with the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians and crimes that occur on this federally-recognized tribal land of the Pokagon Band will be taken seriously by my Office,” said U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch.  “We will continue to work in unison with the Pokagon Band to protect the safety of its tribal citizens, while respecting the Pokagon Band’s sovereignty and culture.”

Pokagon Police Chief William Lux said, “The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians is a federally-recognized sovereign nation and is committed to working with our law enforcement partners in the U.S. government to protect all who visit its trust land and to prosecute those who violate the law on Pokagon land. This case is a great example of team work between our officers, Pokagon Tribal Police Investigations Unit and the St. Joseph County Police Department. We appreciate the support of the FBI and U.S. Attorney Kirsch in prosecuting Mr. Hartsell for crimes committed while at Four Winds South Bend, which is on sovereign Pokagon Band land.”

This case was investigated by the FBI and ATF with the assistance of the Pokagon Tribal Police Department and to St. Joseph County Police Department. The case was prosecuted by U.S. Attorney Thomas L. Kirsch II and Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke N. Reilander

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Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Updated April 16, 2020